Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that normalisation between Turkish and Israeli governments would be for the good of the entire region, reiterating on Turkey’s three preconditions for any resolution process.
Speaking on his way back from the Neutrality Conference in Turkmenistan, President Erdogan said “We have main headlines about Israel; an apology for 2010 Mavi Marmara raid, compensation for the victims’ families of the raid and lifting of the embargo on Palestine. They apologised for Mavi Marmara. However, the last two demands have not been fulfilled.”
Drawing a road map to the normalisation process with Israel, Erdogan continued "I already said that once the compensation and the embargo problems are resolved, normalization process may start. This normalization process would be good for us, Israel, Palestine and the entire region. The region definitely needs this. We need to consider the interests of the people in the region and introduce peace.”
The Mavi Marmara was a passenger ship owned by a Turkish NGO - the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) - and was one of the six civilian ships of an international coalition called the Free Gaza Movement targeted by an Israeli military operation on May 31, 2010.
The Gaza flotilla was attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters.
Nine Turkish citizens were killed on board and 30 other people were injured. One of the injured activists died nearly four years after being critically injured.
The attack raised tensions between Turkey and Israel leading Turkey to recall its ambassador in Tel Aviv.
The tense relations were relatively eased after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologised to Turkey in 2013 over the attack, but the issue regarding the compensation to be paid to the families of the victims has not been resolved between the two countries.
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.