Turkey says to normalise ties Israel must lift Gaza blockade

Turkey’s presidential spokesman says normalisation with Israel depends on lifting of Gaza blockade

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin addresses the media during a press conference at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on December 28, 2015.

Turkey sees no normalisation in its ties with Israel without the lifting of the Gaza blockade, Turkey’s Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday during a press conference in Turkey’s capital Ankara.

"Turkey - Israel relations will not normalise until Israel realises the three conditions. We have not given up on these," Kalin stated.

Kalin said there was some progress made in the matter of compensation, adding: "We did not reach the point of putting in a signature. Negotiations are continuing."

Related to the Turkey's Gaza stand, Kalin also indicated, "Turkey's position on liberation, justice and honor struggle of the people of Palestine is clear."

"Turkey will continue to play its role until a two-state solution is reached, and the Palestinian people have their own state. There cannot be permanent peace in the region until the Palestinian problem is solved."

The recent talks to normalise relations came more than five years after Israeli troops stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in international waters on May 31, 2010, leaving ten Turkish citizens dead and 30 others injured, including one person who died nearly four years after being critically injured in the attack.

Mavi Marmara, Freedom Flotilla ship. (Photo: AA Archive)

Turkey had requested an apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed in the attack as well as the removal of Israel’s blockade on Gaza.

The first of these conditions was fulfilled in 2013 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the attack. However, the two countries have not resolved whether compensation should be paid to the families of the victims.

The Gaza Strip came under blockade by Israel and Egypt in 2007 after Hamas came to power in the enclave.

The 1.8 million inhabitants of Gaza, have been deprived of many of their most basic needs under the blockade.

TRTWorld and agencies