Turkish Foreign Minister Blasts Israeli Counterpart, Demands Apology

ANKARA (Hurriyet)–Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had harsh words for his Israeli counterpart Tuesday, the latest salvo in the quarrel over the flotilla crisis that has brought the one-time allies to the brink of cutting ties, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily reported.

“What [Avigdor] Lieberman says has no value for us,” Davutoglu said in televised remarks Tuesday, referring to the Israeli foreign minister’s call for Turkey to apologize. The Turkish foreign minister harshly criticized Lieberman and said he did not view his Israeli counterpart as a proper go-between “owing to his rhetoric and attitude.”

In an interview with Hurriyet on Sunday, Davutoglu said relations with Israel “would be cut off if Israel does not apologize and compensate the victims of the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara ship.”

But on Tuesday he said he “was compelled to make that statement because it was said that our demands would not be met while that turmoil was happening in Israel.”

Davutoglu’s statement Sunday was triggered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to apologize to Turkey or compensate the families of the activists killed onboard the ship.

“Israel should both apologize and pay compensation unilaterally,” the Turkish foreign minister said Tuesday. “If those two conditions do not materialize, Turkey is not just any country; Turkey will not stay indifferent.”

Davutoglu secretly met with Israeli Trade Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer last week and conveyed Turkey’s demands in a bid to find a way out of the diplomatic crisis. The meeting sparked tensions within Israel’s ruling coalition as it emerged that Netanyahu had approved the talks without informing Lieberman.

Noting that the conflict over Israel’s deadly attack is not solely a problem between Turkey and Israel, Davutoglu said the international community also expects Israel to meet the U.N. Security Council’s demands for an apology and compensation.

Eight Turks and a U.S. citizen of Turkish descent were killed when Israeli commandos attacked the Mavi Marmara, which was part of a flotilla of ships trying to carry aid to the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip. In the wake of the raid, Turkey recalled its ambassador from Israel and cancelled three planned joint military exercises. It has also banned some Israeli military flights in Turkish airspace.

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7 Comments

  1. Koko said:

    Who is this little Napoleon Davutoglu to go around making demands of Israel? I think Turkey is getting too big for its britches.

    Davutoglu and Erdogan had a bright idea to send their little flottila to Gaza a few weeks ago to make big headlines. And it did make big headlines. Unfortunately, lives were lost as Israel stuck its finger in Turkey’s eye – in a language that Turkey understands.

    You may not approve of Israel, but what was the last country that stood up to the Turks? Armenia? No. Greece? Heck no. Cyprus? Not really. The US? Ha! France and the other European countries? No. Russia? Nyet. Only Israel, at least in this instance. I don’t feel sorry for Turkey. Israel does not owe an apology to Turkey.

    • sebouh from australia said:

      And why is it no one stands up to the Turks???Hint: USA

  2. Stepan said:

    With Davutoglu in the public view, our Armenian interests will improve. He just can resist the spotlight and the controversy. All the rhetoric aside, it is clear that Turkey is suffering from an identity crisis… are they the new darling of the Islamic world or are they the reliable secular Moslem “democracy’. Can’t have it both ways and if you try you may lose both allies. LET’S HOPE THAT THE WORLD BEGIN TO SEE THIS THIN VEILED ATTEMPT.

  3. Tom said:

    I support Israel in this case. Turkey is wrong. I say this very mildly so that the Asbarez editor won’t censor it because he takes exception to a word or two. I know that taking Israel’s side is a no-no.

    • sebouh from australia said:

      You are entitled to your opinion , not your own facts.

      FACT: ISRAEL DENIES THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

      • phillip said:

        FACT: THIS WILL CHANGE 5 MINUTES AFTER THE U.S. STOPS DENYING IT

    • Rita said:

      It wasnt just Turkey that send ships to Gaza. Greece sent them, Ireland sent. There were Christian Archbishops on these ships. Lebanon is sending one. Israel is wrong. You do not attack a ship in international waters after you illegally blockade 1.5 million people and keep them in an open air prison.

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