Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey will not have relations with Israel unless its conditions are provided during a press conference on Wednesday in Ankara.
Responding to questions regarding whether Turkey will import natural gas from Israel, Kalin said that ‘’To restart our relations with Israel, we asked them for three conditions to be provided. Only the first one of them was fulfilled as Israeli officials apologised over the Mavi Marmara attack however they did not pay any compensation to the victims of the attack or did not lift the embargo on Gaza.’’
Kalin’s comments came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that they were holding talks with Turkey with regard to a natural gas trade between the two countries.
The Mavi Marmara was a Comoros-flagged passenger ship owned by a Turkish NGO - the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) - and was one of the six civilian ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla targeted by an Israeli military operation on May 31, 2010.
The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla took place in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea. Nine Turkish citizens were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara in a bungled raid, and a 10th activist later died from heavy wounds.
The maritime raid drew widespread condemnation internationally, and damaged Israel-Turkey relations. The governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) demanded an official apology and compensation for the relatives of the Mavi Marmara victims.
Turkey disfavours tension with Russia
Touching on Turkey’s ongoing tension with Russia, Kalin said ‘’We do not favour escalating tension with Russia and we attach importance to using diplomatic channels. Turkey does not try to interfere with Russia’s targeting DAESH as Turkey itself fights against the terrorist group. However, the civilians especially Bayir Bucak Turkmens are bombarded by Russian air strikes in this region. Moreover, Turkey does its best to take necessary security measures against DAESH. Accordingly, almost 1200 DAESH suspects were seized during anti terror operations of Turkey and other countries should also take security precautions."
Kalin also slammed the accusations that Turkey buys oil from DAESH saying that ‘’These claims have nothing to with reality as United States also confirmed. We know who buys oil from DAESH and we have documents showing them.’’