Turkey is considering downgrading diplomatic relations with
Israel and reviewing economic and military cooperation unless Jerusalem
takes steps to make amends for the deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships, a
Turkish official said on Thursday.
The official said that Turkey
wants Israel to apologize for the raid, return the seized ships, agree
to an international investigation and offer compensation for the
victims. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with
'UN to transfer
flotilla aid to Gaza'
express ire toward Turkey
Turkey forms own
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said, in an interview with Israel Radio, that Israel has no intention of agreeing to Turkey's demands.
"Whoever has demands like these, doesn't have good intentions," Ayalon said.
Ayalon added that the deterioration in Israel-Turkey relations is not a result of an Israeli initiative, and that the two countries should use diplomatic means to normalize relations.
Turkish newspaper Today's
reported on Thursday that the Turkish government expressed satisfaction
with the Israeli decision to transfer the aid from the flotilla ship, Mavi Marmara
, to the UN for
distribution in Gaza.
The paper quoted a Turkish Foreign
Ministry statement saying "the fact that the humanitarian aid material
on ships taking part in the Gaza aid convoy will be distributed to Gaza
by the UN with consent of all parties is considered a positive
development in regards to allowing the aids project to achieve its
In a separate development the Turkish news agency Anadolu announced that a monument is
to be erected in a suburb of Istanbul in memory of the people killed in
The Mavi Marmara
is the ship on
which nine activists were killed in the IDF commando raid on a
Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
In protest of the Israeli blockade, Hamas refused to allow the aid from the flotilla into
An agreement was reached on Tuesday whereby Israel would
hand the aid to the UN
, and the UN would take responsibility for
delivering the aid to Gaza, while ensuring that it was used in used
in authorized humanitarian projects.