Turkey wants to repair ties with Israel
Turkey’s foreign minister has said he wants to repair ties with Israel damaged when Israeli troops killed eight Turkish nationals amid clashes on a pro-Palestinian aid ship in May, according to a BBC report.
Ahmet Davutoglu reiterated that Israel must apologize for the deaths, which led Turkey to withdraw its ambassador, the report states.
Israel insists the commandos fired in self-defence and its foreign minister has said there will be no apology. The ship involved, the Mavi Marmara, has been welcomed back to Istanbul.
Turkey and Israel have pursued good relations for about 15 years and have been engaged in several military and trade pacts, and recently held talks in Geneva recently to try to restore ties. But the talks foundered, reportedly because Israel refused to apologize for the 31 May raid.
Mr Davutoglu is reported to have said the only way for both countries to “preserve relations” would be for Israel to apologize and offer compensation.
“Turkish citizens have been killed in international waters, nothing can cover up this truth,” Mr Davutoglu said.
But Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said it should not be Israel to say sorry.” On the apology issue, this borders rudeness and is even beyond rudeness,” he said. “If anyone has to apologize, it is the Turkish government to Israel for its co-operation with terror entities, for supporting terror.”