Israeli officials expressed astonishment on Sunday that US Secretary of State John Kerry praised Turkey for responding “sensitively” and without triumphalism to Israel’s apology for the Mavi Marmara incident.
“They have taken steps to try to prevent any sense of triumphalism,” Kerry said at a press conference on Sunday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. “It has not come from the government. In fact, there has been limited response by the government itself and I think it’s important for everybody to take note of that.”
“What country is he talking about?” one Israeli official responded. “I’m afraid the State Department did not show the secretary of state the press reports from Turkey following the apology.”
The official said those reports were full of interviews and statements by both Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Davutoglu and other government ministers gloating over the apology, which was for operational errors committed that may have led to a loss of life on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010. Nine Turks were killed when Israel Navy commandos, trying to keep the ship from breaking the blockade of the Gaza Strip, were attacked by those on board.