The 'Mavi Marmara' 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters/Emrah Dalkaya)
The Obama Administration may soon present the Turkish government with a
proposition to stop the upcoming flotilla to Gaza and restore relations between
Ankara and Jerusalem, the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported on
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The offer, first reported by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, would
involve Ankara hosting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,
according to the report. The White House is expected to soon officially make the
offer to Turkey.
Talks, which have been stalled since late last year,
after Palestinians demanded Israel extend a freeze of West Bank settlement
building, would be resumed in Turkey following the model of the Madrid
conference or the secret Oslo talks that followed it in the early 1990s, Zaman
Israel has been making great diplomatic efforts in recent weeks
to pressure Turkey to stop a repeat of the Gaza flotilla that took place just
over one year ago. Nine Turkish nationals were killed by Israeli commandos who
boarded one of the six ships that attempted to break Israel’s blockade of the
Another flotilla is expected to head for the Gaza Strip later this
Ankara, while reportedly warning its citizens of the dangers in
making the sea voyage to Gaza, has said it cannot prevent private citizens from
making the journey.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu last month
issued a warning to Israel, saying it should “not repeat the human tragedy it
caused last year,” adding that Ankara would undertake “the necessary response to
any repeated act of provocation by Israel on the high seas,” AFP
On Thursday, Davutoglu issued a harsh response to international
calls to stop flotilla participants from attempting to break the Israeli
“Sometimes the international community has no courage to warn
Israel,” the Turkish foreign minister said, adding that instead of warning
Turkey, Israel should be receiving warnings about the flotilla, Today’s Zaman
Davutoglu noted that like last year’s flotilla, whose
participants hailed from a number of countries other than Turkey, the upcoming
blockade-busting flotilla will include many international participants.
democratic societies, he added, governments cannot intervene to stop the work of
civil-society organizations, according to the report.
rhetoric – a recent trend understood in Israel to be intended for domestic
consumption ahead of upcoming elections – Davutoglu alleged that even the
framing of eroded relations between Israel and Turkey as “bilateral tension” is
merely an attempt “to cover up a crime against humanity,” Today’s Zaman
Officials in Jerusalem in recent weeks have been turning a deaf
ear to Davutoglu’s anti-Israel rants because Israel does not want to play a role
in the Turkish elections on June 12, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
of Israel’s recent diplomatic activity is aimed at creating a more understanding
diplomatic environment, if the navy has to once again stop the flotilla.