Turkey: Relations Not To Be Normalized until Israel Lifts Gaza Blockade
Saturday November 26, 2011 23:35 by Alaa Ashkar - IMEMC & Agencies
Turkish Minister of Foreign Affair, Ahmed Dawud Aghlo, reconfirmed that relations between Turkey and Israel won't be normalized till the latter issues an official statement, apologizing for Israeli attacks on the Turkish “Freedom Flotilla” in bound to Gaza and lifting Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Maan News Agency reported Friday afternoon.
The Turkish Flag. Image by Maannews.net
His statement came after talks held with his Italian Counterpart, Giulio de Tertisa Santagata, on Friday in the Turkish Capital of Istanbul.
Oglu said “Israel must choose: either to cooperate and resolve the ongoing tension or not to cooperate and keeps the tension raised,” adding that “Israel is the world's current tension as it keeps expanding its illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, if Israel extends its hand in peace, Turkey would extend its hand in peace in reverse,” said he.
He further pointed out that there is a possibility of normalizing bilateral relations between Turkey and Israel if the latter apologized over killing the Turkish “Freedom Flotilla” activists in bound to Gaza in May 2010. Israel, moreover, must pay compensations to the families of the Turkish victims who were killed on board the Marmara ship, which was transferring humanitarian aid to the people of the enclave.
Turkey claims that one of the conditions, must be executed, in order to normalize bilateral relations between Israel and Turkey is to end the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.
On May 23rd, 2010, Israeli Navy forces attacked the Gaza-bound Turkish Marmara Ship, sailing in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea which led to the killing of nine boarding activists and several other were wounded. As a result, Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel and expeled the Israeli ambassador to Turkey, requesting Israel to issue an official statement that apologizes and promises to pay compensations to the families of the victims. Turkey, furthermore, announced that it would sue Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).