18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Erdoğan tells Israel peace mediators to spare effort unless conditions met

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13 September 2012, Thursday /TODAY'S ZAMAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan insisted on Thursday that Israel must meet his government's conditions for normalization of ties between the former allies, asserting that otherwise mediators' efforts to broker a deal will be in vain.

Erdoğan, speaking in Kiev after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, said Turkey has reminded anyone interested in mediating peace with Israel of its three conditions: A formal apology for a deadly Israeli raid on May 31, 2010, on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, which resulted in deaths of eight Turks and one Turkish American, compensation for families of those killed in the raid and the lifting of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

“Normalization is out of the question if any of these [conditions] are not met. If all these three conditions are met, then we would say ‘yes' to mediators. Otherwise, mediators should spare the effort,” he said.

Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and suspended its military ties with Turkey in protest of the Israeli refusal to offer a formal apology for the Mavi Marmara incident. The ship was part of an international flotilla trying to deliver aid to Gaza in breach of the Israeli blockade.

Speaking at the Kiev press conference, Erdoğan also condemned a Tuesday attack in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the killing of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other US diplomats.

Erdoğan said the killing was “very troubling” and added that he strongly condemned attacks that target diplomats. “We have always supported efforts in fighting terrorism. We are a country that has been currently fighting terrorism, and we know very well what it means,” Erdoğan said.

President Abdullah Gül has also condemned the killing of the US ambassador and expressed his condolences. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Gül strongly condemned the attack and expressed condolences to his US counterpart, Barack Obama.

In a separate statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also said it strongly condemns the attack and stands by the American people in solidarity. It added that Turkey expects that the Libyan authorities to bring those responsible for the death of the American ambassador to justice.

Erdoğan was in Kiev to co-chair a meeting of the Turkey-Ukraine High Level Strategic Council together with Yanukovych. Addressing the gathering, Erdoğan said Turkey and Ukraine planned to conclude a free trade deal by the end of the year, something that he said would significantly help efforts to increase bilateral trade. The volume of trade currently stands at $6.5 billion, and the two countries aim to boost it to $20 billion by 2015.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım accompanied Erdoğan during the visit.

His time will soon be over and then there will be progress with Israel and the Kurds and the Greek! Looking forward to that!
If the PM would care about his own Kurds as much as he cares about these 9 IHH ""peace""-activists, he would be a lot more credible. It seems the PM is rather isolated in his call to lift the Gaza embargo, isn't he? I mean who else - apart from good old friend Ahmadinejad - supports that funny idea?...
The PM clearly has a very deficient understanding of democracy and lacks respect for others. He knows even less about diplomacy. Repeating the same old song over and over again won't make anything better. The result is a Turkey with few friends and lots of complaints about everybody else.
While echoing David's commentary, I can't help but wonder as to the reason(s) why Turks keep on beating this old donkey to death even though it has expired on its knees so long ago. Israeli news media outlets have given up on this stale, over-regurgitated and boring news story a long time ago, while...
Why is Bibi saying such things on JPOST: `'It's In Israel and Turkey's common interest to resume a fruitful dialogue' The prime minister also used the interview to send a conciliatory signal to Turkey.`
Baruch Goldstein
Turkey has become the number 1 trade partner of Iran which in turn is the number 1 supporter of terrorism. So how exactly is Turkey fighting terrorism, esteemed PM??
Eli: ...how many sould were saved through flexing Ottoman muscles from spanish inquisition? Eli you should know...
Why apologize ?? Thank God that we are rid of the Turks and let's hope that it stays that way. Let Erdogan flex his neo-Ottoman muscles elsewhere.
Yaacov: you forgot to mention sweet water...who needs sweet water...hmmmm
Well said, Mr Erdogan. Israel needs to learn that it cannot get away with murder and state tyranny. Turkey means what it says and cannot be bribed. The Turkish people saw what a strong allinace with Israel got them- 9 Turks shot dead in open seas by Israeli commandos. We don't need such 'friends'. N...
nobody needs Stockholm syndrom stuck Israel. Wait after reelection of Obama - Bibi will beg for some new friends - he wont even get the chance to telephone with his big master for 10 minutes.
one minute
clear words
Who needs Turkey, all they produce is hazelnuts and sheep.
...and Israel should then turn around and demand immediate equal rights for all Turks of Kurdish descent. Oh wait, that's not of Israel's business. Gee, same could be said Erdogan's demand re: the blockade. Keeping grasping at your idea of a new Ottoman Empire with Turkey at the head Tayyip while...
No idea what Ron and Rich are saying. Erdogan is not against Israeli people. The bilateral trade in the private sector is continuing normally except cooperation between the government agencies has stopped. The Israelis are always welcome to Turkey and they are travelling. The Turkish Prime Minister ...
A. Khan
Hey Rich, its abit rich to jump into conclutions, lifting of the armbargo means, freedom of movement for the palestinian population,food and trade, under UN law its illegal to deny basic necesseties. You people are paraniod, how many Jews did Hamas kill in the last 5 years less then a dozen with the...
In other words "Turkey doesn't WANT to normilize relations with with Israel." Israel has no problem with paying compensation and I'm sure reaching agreement regarding the wording for an apology, but giving Hamas free access to weapons is a non starter and Turkey knows that. As long as Turkey feels...
One way or another, Erdogan is going to humiliate Israel, and allow Gaza to re-arm itself with the absence of any blockade. He fools no-one as the pretender of the new Caliphate
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