Turkish PM: Israeli election results make me sad
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the results of the Israeli elections, showing a victory to the right wing parties, painted a very dark picture for the future of the region. "Unfortunately we have seen that the (Israeli) people have voted for these (rightist) parties and that makes me a bit sad," Erdogan told Reuters and two Turkish newspapers in an interview. "Unfortunately the election has painted a very dark picture."
Erdogan called on the next Israeli government to look at how it conducted policies and actions towards the Palestinians and to lift the embargo on the Palestinians. "With the ceasefire the embargo should be lifted. The Palestinian people should be freed from an open-air prison they are living in right now, this is against human rights," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Erdogan sounded upbeat on Turkey's role as a peace mediator in the Middle East despite Israeli press reports suggesting Israel is not willing to take part in any mediation involving Ankara after the prime minister's outburst in Davos. "We were not the ones who wanted this negotiations role. In negotiations between Syria and Israel both countries wanted Turkey to be the mediator, that is why we took part in it. The same happened with the Israeli and Pakistani talks," Reuters reported.
He said critics misunderstood Turkish foreign policy if they thought the government was siding with Hamas or was against Israel. Turkey wanted peace in the region and was defending the helpless, in this case the civilians in Gaza, he said.