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PM: Israel-Turkey ties will not normalize unless Gaza assault stops
Published Friday 11/07/2014 (updated) 16/07/2014 10:08
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(AFP/File)
ANKARA (AFP) -- Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday ties with Israel would not return to normal unless it ceased its deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip.

"You will first stop this oppression. If not, it is not possible to realize normalization between Turkey and Israel," Erdogan said in the central Anatolian city of Yozgat after a dinner breaking the daily Ramadan fast.

Relations between once-regional allies Israel and Turkey hit an all-time low when 10 Turkish activists died in a 2010 maritime assault by Israeli commandos on Gaza-bound ship Mavi Marmara in international waters.

The Israeli assault provoked a sharp response from Ankara, which expelled the Israeli ambassador, demanded a formal apology, compensation for the victims, and an end to the blockade on Gaza -- which is ruled by Hamas, a Palestinian militant group.

Israel and Turkey have been locked in talks for more than a year over compensation, after Israel extended a formal apology to Ankara in a breakthrough brokered by US President Barack Obama.

Erdogan, a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, said Thursday that Turkey's first two conditions -- apology and compensation -- appeared to have been fulfilled.

But he said deadly raids on Gaza showed that Israel had no intention of complying with Ankara's third condition: to end the blockade on the Palestinian enclave.

"Then how can we normalize (ties) with you?" said the premier, who is the clear favorite for an August presidential election.

Erdogan also lashed out at Israel's "disproportionate use of force against innocent" Palestinians, calling on the world and the United Nations to stop the assault.

He spoke on the phone with President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal about the Israeli action in Gaza, as well as on intra-Palestinian unity, an official from his office told AFP.
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1 ) Outlier / USA
11/07/2014 19:51
Fine. A few more weeks or months will not matter to either country.

2 ) Mel / USA
11/07/2014 20:10
Erdogan is a 2-faced,opportunist,snake. He's MORE involved with Israel's expansion than he pretends. Especially when it comes to Israel and the KURDS!Not to mention Erdogan's lust for acceptance into EU/NATO &getting his cut of Iraq/Kirkuk oil! His "normal"relationship with Israel,is ALWAYS BEHIND THE CURTAIN! Let's see his ACTIONS,against Israel,not just hear his words? Don't hold your breath!

3 ) christian palestinian / usa
11/07/2014 22:07
Erdogan and Davutoglu are pro-war zionists working for israel 100%.

Don't believe the lies coming out of the anti-arab nation of Turkey!

4 ) Tibi / Tubas
12/07/2014 01:02
Israel and Turkey are doing fine without "normal ties" for two years, and Israel and Turkey will do fine without "normal ties" for more years, so "Israel-Turkey ties will not normalize", until Israel is done with Hamas !!

5 ) Arnold / Canada
12/07/2014 03:44
Drop dead Erdogan

6 ) Outlier / USA
12/07/2014 04:55
(first comment spiked) Who cares? Another few weeks or months delay won't matter to either country.

7 ) David / USA
14/07/2014 21:23
Edogan has destroyed a modern country and turned into a backward Quran-toting bunch of thugs. He had dreams of becoming the Caliph! What a joke. I guess the psychopath leader of ISIS beat him to it. Mustafa Ataturk has to be crying in his grave over what has become of his beloved Turkey.

8 ) RealityCheck / The World
18/07/2014 04:01
thanks for slapping the brainwashed with some reality David, most of my posts are getting blocked so its nice to know others are doing the job for me :)
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