'Turkey may cut economic ties over 'Marmara' apology'
LAST UPDATED: 08/22/2011 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. Photo: Osman Orsal / Reuters
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.
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."
Opinion: Should Israel apologize to Turkey?
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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
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.