Erdogan: Turkey will not normalize relations with Israel if Gaza continues
Erdgoan is expected to win re-election in August (File Archive/AFP)
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Turkey's Prime Minister announced this week that Ankara will not normalize ties with Tel Aviv as long anticipated if the strikes on Gaza continue, according to Agence France Presse.
Turkey PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in the city of Yozgat this week, "You will first stop this oppression. If not, it is not possible to realise normalization between Turkey and Israel."
Israel and Turkey, who were once strong allies, deteriorated in 2010 after Israel's Defense Forces boarded a ship carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza and killed 10 Turkish peace activists in international waters aboard the boat.
It has taken years for Israel and Turkey to finalize an appropriate solution and compensation to the families of the victims, and Tel Aviv only formally apologized for the act last year.
Erdogan has emphasized since the incident that Ankara would not normalize relations with Israel until such an apology was given and an appropriate compensation for the families was agreed upon. While these two "conditions" have been met, the Turkey PM says the recent Gaza strikes show that the third condition--for Israel to end its blockade on Gaza---will not be met any time in the near future.
"Then how can we normalize (ties) with you [Israel][?" said the premier.
Erdogan also added that Israel has used a "disproportionate use of force against innocent [Palestinians]," according to the AFP report, and urged the UN to halt the assault.