Erdogan: Israel to lose closest ally

Turkish PM sharply criticizes Israel's reaction to ship raid.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sharply criticized Israel for its reaction to the Mavi Marmara raid Thursday saying that "Israel stands to lose its closest ally in the Middle East if it does not change its mentality."
Erdogan argued that "Turkey tried to preserve their relationship, but the Israeli government did not understand this, and performed a historical mistake."
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"This mistake is not only against Turkey, it is against civilians from 32 different countries," he said.
"Violent policies will not bring about a positive outcome, Erdogan exclaimed. "We will not avert our eyes from violence like this," he said.
US working with Turkey, Israel on raid aftermath
US President Barack Obama spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday afternoon, stressing his “deep condolences” for the loss of Turkish life during the incident and backing calls for a credible investigation, according to a White House statement.
But he did not adopt the Turkish position condemning Israel for the incident or urge an independent investigation, which Jerusalem opposes, in a sign of the careful calibration of the administration’s response.
Obama’s call to Erdogan followed three phone conversations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the day before, in which he expressed his understanding for Netanyahu’s decision to cancel his planned visit with Obama Tuesday and noted the importance of learning all the facts of what happened before making judgments.
“Turkey and Israel are both good friends of the United States, and we are working with both to deal with the aftermath of this tragic incident,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters Tuesday.