Turkey is keen to bring Israel on its knees in any negotiations to improve ties, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Ayalon said he had participated in three rounds of bilateral discussions with Turkey to improve "deteriorated" ties between Jerusalem and Ankara, and that Israel "has done everything" to reach an agreement. The Mavi Marmara
incident, in which nine Turkish activists dies when the IDF raided the Turkish ship en route to Gaza, was not the catalyst for the deterioration in political ties, Ya'alon explained.
Even as early as 2004, when Ya'alon met with Turkey's then general chief of staff, Ankara had already decided to begin downgrading the once tight political ties with the Jewish state in order to reorient the eastern Mediterranean nation towards the Muslim world.
Ya'alon said he hoped Israel and Turkey would once again discover their mutual interests and improve relations, noting that commercial contacts have escaped the downgrade in political ties.