Expert Israeli sailor Linor Kliger, 28, is the top coach of the Turkish sailing team arriving in Haifa, Israel today to compete in the International 420 Class World Sailing Championships.
This Turkish flotilla is very different from the one that arrived just under two months ago, leading to a naval confrontation on the deck of the Mavi Marmara as it attempted to break the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza.
“You must separate between politics and sports,” Kliger told reporters, adding, “There is no hostility toward me in Turkey.”
Israeli and Turkish entrepreneurs also believe that the strong business connection between Israel and Turkey will survive the crisis in relations.
Kliger, whose brother Gidi is an Olympic sailor, won an international championship and was a member of the Israeli national team. In addition to coaching Turkish sailors she trains Israeli women windsurfers.
Another international competition, the European Mountain Bike Championship, was held in Haifa a month ago.
The sailing championships will be held over 10 days in Haifa Bay with some 150 teams of the best sailors in the world participating. The Mavi Marmara is still anchored in the adjacent port.