Turks think Israel must apologize, pay compensation

Recent poll finds 64% support Erdogan's conditions for reconciliation; 29% of them think Israel must lift Gaza siege.

Thanks Erdogan for Israel apology billboards 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
Thanks Erdogan for Israel apology billboards 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
Close to a third of all Turks believe it would be insufficient for Israel to apologize and pay compensation for the Mavi Marmara incident in order to repair ties between the two countries, according to a recent poll.
Just over a third, or 35 percent of those polled thought an apology and compensation would be enough, but fully 29% thought Israel should also lift the siege on Gaza. In addition, 12% thought that relations with Israel should not be repaired at all.
The results of the poll, conducted between March 1 and April 9, indicate that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has strong support for his tough bargaining position with Israel.
A Turkish think tank based in Istanbul, the Center for Economic and Foreign Policy Studies, was responsible for the poll of 1,504 people, 18 years old and over.
The results found that only 7% thought that relations could be improved without any concessions by Israel; 17% of the respondents had no opinion.
One of the interesting results was that support for lifting the blockade on Gaza was lower than support for Israel paying compensation and apologizing, demonstrating that the Turkish public may not be completely behind Erdogan in his strong support for the Hamas regime in Gaza.
In addition, 101 foreign policy experts were asked the same questions and were found to be more willing to reconcile with Israel than the public.
More than a third of the experts thought that relations should be repaired without any Israeli concessions, compared to 7% of the public.
Of the experts, 57% thought Israel should apologize and pay compensation in order to repair relations, and only 6% thought the condition of lifting the blockade on Gaza should be included as well.
Meanwhile, a new round of talks between Turkish and Israeli negotiators is scheduled for next week in Israel.