Turkey and Israel to resume normalized relations

Published February 29th, 2016 - 10:51 GMT
Ten Turkish citizens died in May 2010 after Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara of the 'Gaza Freedom Flotilla,' which attempted to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and deliver emergency relief aid to the Palestinians. (AFP/File)
Ten Turkish citizens died in May 2010 after Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara of the 'Gaza Freedom Flotilla,' which attempted to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and deliver emergency relief aid to the Palestinians. (AFP/File)

Turkey is close to resuming normalized relations with Israel after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that the two countries plan to make a statement together within the coming days, Turkey's Hurriyet Daily newspaper reported Monday.

Çavuşoğlu made the statement during a cabinet briefing on February 22, saying that undersecretary-level efforts between Israel and Turkey had been completed.

Turkish media have reported repeatedly in recent months that a rapprochement with Israel is imminent.

Turkish-Israel relations soured in May 2010 after an Israeli raid on a Turkish boat, the Mavi Marmara, saw ten people killed as the vessel attempted to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip.

After the Mavi Marmara incident, then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan put three condition on a normalization of ties: an Israeli apology, compensation and a lifting of the blockade of Gaza.

Netanyahu apologized in 2013 and the issue of compensation has apparently been resolved, but there was no word in Thursday's statement from the Prime Minister's Office regarding the issue of the Gaza blockade.

Israeli officials have said Israel would not lift the blockade, which it sees as of cardinal importance to its security, to please Erdogan.


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