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April 11, 2016 1:12 pm

Turkey: No Normalization With Israel Until Gaza Blockade Lifted

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Turkish President Recep Rayyip Erdogan. Photo: Wikipedia.

Turkish President Recep Rayyip Erdogan. Photo: Wikipedia. – A spokesperson for the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said Turkey will not normalize relations with Israel until the Jewish state lifts the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The spokesperson was responding to earlier claims by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, on Friday, that Turkish and Israeli negotiating teams have been finalizing a rapprochement deal.

“Meetings with Israel have been taking place for a while and they are continuing today,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in Ankara on Thursday, Reuters reported. “If our demands are received favorably, then the next steps will be clear and the necessary announcements will be made to the public.”

Israel and Turkey have been mired in a longstanding feud that originated with the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, in which nine Turks were killed in clashes after Turkish militants attacked Israeli commandos who had boarded the flotilla. Israel takes issue with the fact that the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which controls Gaza, has its headquarters in Istanbul.

“It is extremely unlikely for the final meeting to not produce any results,” an anonymous Turkish official said, according to Haaretz. “Neither side wants this to continue for much longer. If Israel agrees to Turkey sending a power ship to the eastern Mediterranean, respective ambassadors will start serving in Ankara and Tel Aviv in no time.”

On Sunday, the Israeli government warned its citizens visiting Turkey to leave the country as soon as they can due to serious terror threats in the wake of March’s terrorist bombing in Istanbul, in which three Israeli tourists were killed.

Israeli tourists in Turkey should “avoid crowded tourist areas, follow instructions of local authorities, and get out as soon as possible,” the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau said, adding that it has raised the risk of terror attacks against Israelis in Turkey to the highest level.

“Real and immediate terror threats remain throughout the country,” the bureau said in a statement.

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  • HaroldT

    Israel should forget about Turkey and support the Kurds.

  • shloime

    it seems that the “russian menace” has faded somewhat, so erdogan is less anxious to enlist israel’s support. so he’s back to playing “humiliation” games.

    perhaps israel should insist on justice for the kurds and the cypriots, before agreeing to anything. because right now, with the military situation in syria, and the attacks against israeli tourism to turkey, turkey needs israel far more than israel needs turkey.

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is rebuilding the Ottoman Empire. The Gaza Strip is an essential Forward Operational Base (FOB) for strategic expansion into Mediterranean Sea area. From the Turkish coast to Cyprus to Gaza, Erdogan wants to dominate. Gaza is critical for plans to tap into the newly discovered underwater Leviathan gas field. The Leviathan gas field is a large natural gas field located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel and the Gaza Strip. (The Leviathan gas field was the largest gas field in the Mediterranean Sea until the August 2015 discovery of the Zohr gas field off the coast of Egypt.) As an ally, Hamas Erdogan plans to expand Turkish presence in Gaza with the building of ports to naval, air military facilities. From Gaza Erdogan intends to become a major player within Arab Palestinian politics and Israel.
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the country is going to build the Forward Operational Bases (FOBs) in Qatar, Somalia[1], the Republic of Georgia[2], and Azerbaijan. Moreover, the country also plans to build its first aircraft carrier that will extend Turkey’s naval presence into the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
    Turkey’s military superiority in Cyprus in the land, air and at sea – remains unchallenged and apparent. General Intel estimates the total number of troops on the island 74,000 Turkish troops in Cyprus, which includes 5,000 armed Turkish Cypriots and 26,000 Turkish Cypriot reservists. Turkish Armed Forces maintains the Cyprus Turkish Peace Force, which consists of around 30,000–40,000 troops drawn from the 9th Turkish Army Corps and comprising two divisions, the 28th, and 39th. These forces include a substantial number of MBTs and field artillery support systems. The Turkish Air Force, the Turkish Navy and the Turkish Coast Guard also maintain a presence and support land forces deployed. Within a short time, Gaza could certainly have a significant Turkish military force.