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'Our problem is with the Israeli gov't'
ByJPOST.COM STAFF
June 19, 2010 11:40
Turkish PM: We will not stay silent in the face of Israeli "piracy."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311. (photo credit:ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Turkey’s grievances with Israel concern its government and not its people, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

While some expect Turkey to be silent in the face of Israel’s “state terrorism” and “piracy,” Erdogan said, his nation will not stay silent.

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“We will seek solutions in the framework of international law,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

On Thursday, Israeli diplomatic officials said Ankara was considering a number of steps to express its anger over the Gaza flotilla episode, including significantly downgrading diplomatic ties. However, Jerusalem has not been informed of any concrete moves.

The comments came amid reports that Turkey was considering not returning its ambassador to Israel and reviewing military, economic, cultural and academic cooperation if Israel did not apologize for the flotilla raid, return the seized ship, agree to an international investigation and offer compensation both to the families of the nine people killed and to the injured.

Turkey recalled its ambassador soon after the incident. Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, however, is still in Ankara and diplomatic channels of communication between the two countries are still open.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said unequivocally on Sunday that Israel had no intention of apologizing, and one diplomatic source said Thursday that there were voices inside the government saying that not only should Israel not apologize, it should demand a Turkish apology for facilitating the dispatch of a ship with terrorist supporters who beat Israeli soldiers trying to protect its territorial sovereignty.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
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