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Erdogan Says Gaza Blockade Must Be Lifted Before Full Normalization With Israel

March 24, 2013 6:06 pm 20 comments

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Israel to compensate flotilla victims and end its blockade of Gaza before full normalization of relations can be restored.

On Friday, as U.S. President Barack Obama was about to depart Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Erdogan and apologized for Israel’s actions during the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, during which eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed after they attacked Israeli soldiers on board.

Erdogan had accepted Netanyahu’s apology and told the Israeli leader that he would begin working towards full restoration of ties.

But in a public address following the apology, Erdogan called on more concessions from Israel before full relations could be restored. The Turkish leader said “there will be no normalization” without financial compensation for the flotilla incident from Israel as well as the lifting of the Gaza blockade, the Associated Press reported.

“Normalization will happen the moment there is an implementation. But if there is no implementation, then I am sorry,” Erdogan said.

While Israel and Turkey enjoyed decades of close relations under Turkey’s secular rulers, Erdogan and his conservative Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) has increasingly been critical of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians since coming to power in 2003. This has included closer relations with the Gaza-based terror group Hamas.

Erdogan also said that he plans on traveling to Gaza in April.

Netanyahu listed Syria, Iran and other critical Middle East challenges as the reasons behind his apology. Israel has lifted many restrictions on Gaza since the flotilla incident, and Netanyahu told Erdogan on Friday that he would continue to lift more restrictions as long as “calm prevailed” in Gaza.

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20 Comments

  • Otto Waldmann

    Erdogan has his home consumption and overseas committments as well. Same with Bibi, Obama etc. The home issues of each country shall never meet, as Istambul shall remain forever by the Bosphorus and Jerusalem where Hashem wanted it. Internationally there are similar concerns and, once again, each country shall discharge them according to their interests. Syria today is common ground with Israel/Turkey, not so Gaza. Not such a major tzures for Israel that Turkey, a Muslim country, favours its kind. Israel will not lower the guard abt Gaza just to make Erdogan more popular at home & same for Obama. So, we shall all meet again on the same issues for a long, long time………..

  • Your entire staff should go and jump i the lake for not being fair an impartial.

  • You only accept the answers that are convenient to you!
    LOL

  • Tell Erdogan to go jump in the lake.

  • Turkey has chickened out.
    Erdogan is spitting in Obama’s face. Obama will pretend not to notice. The press will bury the story.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    These demands on Israel are totally unreasonable. It is to Turkey’s better interest to normalize with Israel as well as it is to Israel’s. The latter assertion should be the basis for normalization, not any additional demand by Turkey. The region is a tinder box. Enough said.

  • Mr Netanhyahu has joined the list of appeasers. What did he expect a love in. This will be taken as a sign of weakness in the Arab world,and they won`t be far wrong. He should go to the graves of former Prime Ministers and apologise.

  • First let him apologyse and compensate the Armenian and Kurdish people before demanding things from Israel.

  • Erdogan is a politician-he plays to his base..ofte the basest.
    Sort of like my Republican Congressman -a physician on the House Science Committee.He says he does notbelieve in evolution,embryology and a host of other -ologies.He plays to his base which if you go by the history of the religious congregations that support are overwhelmingly anti-Black or at pro-segregationist and anti-jewish.
    Now they are,they say,pro-Israel…(nobody has asked their opinion of Jews)-but verbally pro-Israel until the next wind blows.
    There are too Israeli politicians who play to their basest base..exploiting prejudices to the hilt.
    That is how politics are –
    My wifes younger first cousin Howard Simons,of Watergate fame,had some memorable quotes about them..some are on the net.
    Politics -in every nation..the same- rarely a higher calling.

  • your all are day dreaming,netenyaho is a sell out to jahadist Obama settlers wake up.

  • An apology in litigation is an admission of responsibility. Turkey’s response appears to be on the North Korean model. Admission is weakness, mafia politics. How much is for domestic consumption and which faction in Ankara is in ascendency is open to conjecture.

    One fact is both the Israelis and Turks share a common concern with the dissolution of Assad’s Syria. Their militariies know this. Also the Israelis have some influence with the Kurds who could perhaps with some enticements prioritise Iraq above Turkey.

    An Erdogan visit to Hamas controlled Gaza in April will probably be measured in hours? The AKP has to have the perception of credibility while the realpolitik pragmatics indicate an accommodation with the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, the Americans and yes…the Israelis!

    The Palestinians, Gazans, Jerusalem, the settlers, administration problems with the morale and discipline of young soldiers stationed in Judea-Samaria will continue as long as the military occupation does and external realities dictate. A week is a long time in the Levant. No?

  • Jill Skriver

    When does Israel learn? Netanyahu will martyr Israel if he stops the blockade or gives in to any more demands. The intent is obvious, only a fool would secede to Turkeys demand.

  • Why would any Jew apologize to this Turkish subhuman pseudo Nazi?

  • Mr Netanyahu should have waited for Mr Edrogan to apologise to the Armenian people for the 1915 genocide and compensate the families of the victims – before this ‘apology’.
    What will they think of demanding next?

  • I feel sorry for Bibi. Obama holds Israel hostage, because I’m certain it is killing Bibi to acquiesce and appease one who would later destroy his nation if he could. It must tear his heart out to have to kiss Obama’s butt just to be allowed to purchase nesessary armaments to defend Israel. It’s insane, but what else can Bibi do?

  • Erdogan a typical Terrorist like his friends from neighboring countries

  • same old same old BS -they make a demand, have the demand met only to make a new demand. Since this is all predicated on the US needing the Turks in a quick response force to insure chemical weapons don’t fall into Islamist hands, the Turks assume Israel has no choice. Israel will now be able to pry some needed concession from Obama to cover the duplicity of the Turks

  • He got an apology, he wants financial compensation for the flotilla incident,now he wants the Gaza blockade lifted. Wow he really thinks big…

  • They are never happy. Give them what they ask for and they grab for more, non stop.

    This is what Obama hasn’t understood or if he knows, his intention is complete Israeli humiliation.

    Netanyahu must not give another iota of consideration to Turkey. One day, Turkey will be groveling at Israel’s door for help.

    In the meantime, Israel complied with Obama’s wishes and now can collect the fruit…

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    Waste of time. There’s no end to his demands. What else does he want, a pony?

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