Erdogan: Turkey to enforce more sanctions against Israel

Turkish PM says he may visit Gaza but will make decision after talks with Egypt; vows Turkish ships will be seen more in Eastern Mediterranean.

September 6, 2011 13:04
1 minute read.
Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister

Tayyip Erdogan 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey would implement further sanctions against Israel and said that "our ships will be seen more frequently in those waters," referring to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Erdogan also told reporters that he may visit Gaza and would decide whether to do so after talks with Egypt. Erdogan is planning to visit Cairo later this month.

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A senior Israeli official on Sunday warned that it would be a diplomatic mistake for Erdogan to visit the Gaza Strip.

Channel 2 quoted the official as saying Erdogan would damage Turkey's relations with the United States by visiting Gaza. He added that the move would also weaken Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, presumably because a trip to Hamas-controlled Gaza would challenge him as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians.

QNA quoted Turkish Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc as saying in a statement on Sunday that Erdogan was scheduled to meet with the head of Egypt's ruling military council, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and other leading Egyptian politicians and intellectuals during the visit.

The announcement came as diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel were severely strained following the release of the Palmer Commission report on the raid of the Mavi Marmara and Israel's refusal to answer Ankara's insistence that it issue an apology for the incident.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced at a press conference on Friday, that Ankara was expelling Israel’s ambassador, and freezing all military agreements. He also said Turkey would take measures for freedom of maritime movement in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, no longer recognize the Gaza blockade, and support “flotilla victims” who take the matter to court.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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