Sunday, August 21, 2011

'Turkey still waiting for Israeli apology'

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Source: Press TV

Turkey says its relations with Israel will be strained further if Tel Aviv does not make a formal apology for its deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in 2010.

"There can be no normalization with Israel if Turkey's demands are not met," the Anatolia news agency quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying during a visit to South Africa on Saturday, AFP reported.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli navy commandos attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla while it was in international waters, killing nine Turkish nationals and wounding at least 40 others on the Mavi Marmara, one of the six vessels of the convoy.

Israel has rejected repeated calls from Ankara calling for it to pay compensation to the families of the victims and to issue a formal apology.

Davutoglu's reiteration of Ankara's demand comes as a United Nations report on the flotilla incident is due to be released soon.

Publication of the report has been postponed at least twice this year to allow time for the two sides to reconcile their differences.

But the Turkish foreign minister said that relations between his country and Israel would only worsen if an apology did not come following the UN report.

"Relations will not remain as they are now, they will deteriorate even more… The current situation cannot be sustained," he stated.

According to Turkish diplomats, Ankara could further downgrade its representation in Tel Aviv. It has only maintained a charge d'affaires there since recalling its ambassador after the May 2010 attack.

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