Turkish president calls Israel 'ungrateful burden'

September 9, 2011 12:04

Gül quoted as saying that Israel should consider "honorable peace" with its Arab neighbors instead of acting like the world owes it something.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul

abdullah gul 311. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Turkish President Abdullah Gül said on Thursday that Israel is an ungrateful burden to its allies, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported.

On his way to a multicultural conference in Russia, Gül accused Israel of offering to apologize four times for the Mavi Marmara incident, but then reneging each time. 

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According to the Turkish president, Israel should consider an "honorable peace" with its Arab neighbors and stop acting as if the world, especially Turkey, owes it favors, the report said.

He also criticized what he called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's inability to receive as warm a welcome to the his own Knesset as he does when he speaks before the American Congress, referring to a speech he gave in the United States earlier in the summer.

The Turkish president's comments came after on Thursday he stated that Turkey never harassed Israeli tourists at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport, despite reports that some 40 passengers were singled out and underwent more stringent security procedures than other travelers.

Gül said that the deterioration of ties between Ankara and Jerusalem was not being directed towards "individuals."

Speaking to pan-Arab Al-Arabiya, Gül also restated Turkish plans to head to the International Criminal Court to determine the legality of the blockade on the Gaza Strip adding that Ankara rejected the UN-backed Palmer report which legitimized the IDF blockade.
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