PM to Comptroller: Erdogan hinted would stop flotilla

By
June 13, 2012 14:19

PMO quoted as saying Turkish PM refrained from stopping flotilla after giving impression he would.

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311 (R). (photo credit:REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave Israel the impression through third parties that he would keep the Mavi Marmara from setting sail in May 2010, the Prime Minister’s Office was quoted as saying in the comptroller’s report released on Wednesday.

“The prime minister worked intensively through diplomatic channels, principally with the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, to stop the flotilla,” the report quoted the office as saying.

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“The efforts led to a high feasibility that the Turkish flotilla would be prevented.”

The Prime Minister’s Office told State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss that Erdogan – contrary to the impression he created – refrained from stopping the flotilla, and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was briefed about this only a week before the flotilla set sail.

While the comptroller’s report portrayed a haphazard, ad hoc decision-making process that preceded the boarding of the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010 – a process that did not incorporate the necessary staff work and the orderly presentation of secondary options – the report does catalogue intensive diplomatic work beforehand in an attempt to get the flotilla stopped before it left port.

This included discussions through numerous channels – including Egypt, the Turkish Embassy in Washington and directly with the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara – to look for ways to prevent the sailing of the vessel, which the comptroller said everyone from Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on down realized was different than previous flotillas Israel had dealt with.

Liberman told Lindenstrauss he raised the issues in all high-level meetings he held with his counterparts from abroad.

The comptroller concluded, however, that as praiseworthy as all that activity was, it was no replacement for orderly, documented and coordinated staff work – which would have enabled each player to know exactly what the other was doing.

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