Tayyip Erdogan 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer)
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday it was "unthinkable" to
normalize ties with Israel unless the Jewish state apologized for the
killing of nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists aboard a Turkish ship
bound for Gaza last year.
Erdogan also said in the text of a
speech to parliament seen by Reuters that lifting an Israeli blockade on
the Palestinian territory of Gaza and paying compensation to the
victims of the raid were also conditions for the normalization of
Israeli-Turkish talks in NY fail to find way to end crisis
Israeli, Turkish diplomats looking to end ‘Marmara’ crisis
Turkish prime minister made the comments as Turkish and Israeli
officials were meeting in New York to discuss repairing the tarnished
ties between the two countries. On Thursday, senior Israeli government
officials said that the UN’s Palmer Commission Report
on the Mavi Marmara
incident will not be
released until July 27, enabling Israel and Turkey to continue looking for a
formula on the matter that will enable reestablishment of normal relations.
According to the officials, Israeli
and Turkish officials were informed by the UN Thursday that even though the
report has been completed, it will not be published for another three
The report – which is widely believed to uphold the legality of
Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, but takes the IDF to task for
excessive force – was to have been released on Thursday.
officials, the US was involved in delaying the publication of the report so that
negotiations between the two sides could continue.
The report was
originally scheduled to have been released on May 15, but was postponed at the
request of the Turks, apparently concerned about the impact the report – which
reportedly holds Turkey responsible to a large degree for the events – would
have on the Turkish public before the June 12 elections there.
wrote an appendix to the original report, responding to specific points in
The commission is headed by former New Zealand prime minister
Geoffrey Palmer, and co-chaired by former Colombian president Alvar
Israel is represented on the panel by Joseph Ciechanover, and the
Turks by Ozden Sanberk.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has directed
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon to continue contacts with the Turks.
Ya’alon met earlier this week in New York with Turkish Foreign Ministry
Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu to hammer out a formula, but the two sides
failed to reach an agreement.
While the Turks are demanding an Israeli
apology and compensation to the families of the nine people killed in the
incident, Israel has said that while it was willing to pay compensation – as
long as it was done in a way that would not enable future legal claims – it
would not apologize.
Rather, Jerusalem has said it would be willing to
express regret for the loss of life.