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February 24, 2013 9:17 pm

Israel and Turkey Seek to Reconcile Ahead of Obama’s Visit

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Footage taken from the Gaza Flotilla security cameras shows the activists preparing to attack IDF soldiers in 2010. Photo: IDF.

Israeli and Turkish officials have been engaging in dialogue over the past few weeks, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported.

The head of Israel’s National Security Council recently met with a high-ranking Turkish Foreign Ministry official in Rome at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli-Turkish ties have been severely strained since the May 2010 Turkish flotilla incident in which Israeli commandoes killed nine activists—including eight Turks and one Turkish-American, who violently attacked the commandoes as they boarded the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara ship. A UN report on the incident concluded that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal and confirmed the Turkish activists’ initial attack on the Israelis. Turkey, however, has demanded an apology from Israel over the incident and an end to the Gaza blockade.

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Turkish reports indicate that Israel may include a “partial apology” ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit in March. In return, Turkey may forgo its demands to end the Gaza blockade. Experts believe that both nations seek to return to normal relations, especially in light of the growing regional instability.

In November 2012, a Turkish court began a trial of four high-ranking Israeli officers in absentia for their involvement in the incident.

A top Turkish government official recently said that the trial is “political, not really judicial,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

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  • Herb Grossman

    Any agreement that Israel might enter into with Turkey would only give Erdogan more cover for his hardline Islamist regime which is already a Trojan Horse in NATO and other Western groupings. Erdogan’s aim is to impose Sharia on his subjects and annihilate the Jews of Israel, and there is no way that Israel can appease that latter aim. Turkey’s secular opposition has already been disarmed and incarcerated and no longer serves as a restraint on its Islamist program.

    • Mordecai Ben Natan

      I totally agree with herb Grossman.

      BUT, it is better to have good relations with Turkey, than be in constant threat.

      Will diplomatic exchanges happen again?

      If, G-D forbid, there is another war against the Arabs, will Tutkey stay nutral?

      Will Turkey co operate with Israel, and really be an ally?
      I think Turkey is having a major problem with Syria, Hezballa and Iran, and needs Israel as a friend.

      Obviously, the days of Israel training the Turkish military, must not happen again.