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'Turkey may cut economic ties over 'Marmara' apology'

ByJPOST.COM STAFF,
August 22, 2011 11:40

Erdogan considering visit to Gaza to "complicate" the blockade, 'Hurriyet' reports; move comes as UN Palmer report is delayed once again.

'Mavi Marmara' under maintenance in Istanbul.

mavi marmara flotilla_311 reuters. (photo credit:Osman Orsal / Reuters)

In response to Israel's refusal to apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish nationals on board the Mavi Marmara last year, Ankara told the United States that it will consider taking further steps to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Israel and consider completely cutting its political and economic ties with Jerusalem, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported on Sunday.

Another step being considered by Turkey in response to what it considers Israel's refusal to reach a compromise ahead of the release of the United Nations Palmer report on the Marmara incident is a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Gaza Strip, according to the Hurriyet. The Turkish newspaper suggested that such a visit would "complicate breaking Israel's blockade on the enclave."



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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon informed Israel Sunday that he was postponing – yet again – the publication of the Palmer Commission report on the Mavi Marmara incident last year, to give both sides additional time to reach an agreement that would obviate the need to release the report.

As was the case the two previous times, the postponement was, according to Israeli officials, requested by Turkey.

The Palmer Commission report, which has already been written, is widely believed to uphold the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, and its right to intercept vessels trying to break the blockade.

The paper also reportedly takes Israel to task for using disproportionate force in stopping the ship, but does not call on it to apologize for the incident.

Turkey is demanding that Israel apologize for the incident, pay compensation to the families of the nine people killed and lift the blockade of Gaza.

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