Turkey threatens to sever diplomatic relations with Israel
(WJC)–Turkey has warned that all diplomatic ties with Israel will be cut unless it apologises for a raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May. The Turkish foreign minister said such a break could only be averted if Israel accepted an international inquiry into the incident.The Israeli government said it has nothing to apologise for.
Ankara curtailed diplomatic relations with Israel after the naval raid, in which nine Turks were killed. Turkey – which until recently was Israel’s most important Muslim ally – has demanded both an apology and compensation for the victims’ families. In remarks published by Turkish media on Monday, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: “Israelis have three options. They will either apologise or acknowledge an international, impartial inquiry and its conclusion. Otherwise, our diplomatic ties will be cut off.”
Turkey appears to be hardening its stance towards Israel, just five days after a surprise meeting between Mr Davutoglu and Israeli Trade Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer in Switzerland.
Israel says its commandos acted in self-defence after being attacked by passengers on the ship, which was part of a flotilla trying to break its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.