Erdogan flag 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Officials from Israel and Turkey met in Geneva on Sunday to help
reduce tensions, according to a CNN report, as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan demanded an apology for the IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara. Erdogan also
stated on Sunday that Israel must pay damages to those wounded and the
families of those killed during the operation.
Netanyahu seeks help from more European
countriesIsrael slams Erdogan’s ‘lame diatribe’ from
Yosef Ciechanover, the Israeli representative on the UN flotilla probe,
was reportedly asked by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to travel
to Geneva to attend the meeting.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry sent Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu to meet with Ciechanover, CNN reported.
"The two met in order to find ways to promote appeasement and diminish
the tension between the two countries," an Israeli official told CNN.
"We regretted the deterioration of the relationship between the two
countries and we of course like to see an improvement of the relations,"
On Sunday, Erdogan stated that despite Turkey's recent provision of
firefighting assistance to Israel's efforts to the control the blazes
that broke out in the Carmel region, a new page in Turco-Israeli
relations would be possible without addressing the outstanding Turkish
requests made in the aftermath of the failed May 31 attempt to break the
Gaza blockade."If a hand is outstretched towards us, we will not leave
it hanging in the air," Erdogan was quoted by Israel Radio as saying in a
speech delivered in central Turkey. He continued, " but we want to see
an indication that it is a sincere gesture."
Also on Sunday,
Army Radio reported on a Turkish CNN interview with Erdogan, where the
leader explained Ankara's decision to send aid to Israel.
"We will not stand aside at a time when people are
being killed and nature destroyed," Erdogan was quoted as saying. "A day
will come when we will turn the page [on diplomatic relations], but
first Israel must apologize for the incidents of the Gaza flotilla and
compensate [the families] of those killed."
Friday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked Erdogan for sending
airplanes to help
battle the Carmel brush-fire which had already claimed more than 40
"I really appreciate Turkey's help, we will find a way to express our
appreciation." The prime minister's comments came during a visit to the
Carmel fire injured at Rambam hospital in Haifa.
He later added that he believed Ankara's granting of aid to Israel "will
serve as an opening to improve relations between Israel and Turkey."