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March 25, 2013
Erdogan: Israel Must Act on Agreement Before Ties Normalized
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said normalization of relations with Israel will not take place until Israel fulfills its part of a recent agreement.
Turkey and Israel agreed to normalize ties after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for Israel’s 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara ship as it attempted to break a maritime blockade of Gaza and agreed to compensate the families of nine Turks killed in the ensuing violence when Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship.
Erdogan said that Netanyahu also agreed to ease the restriction of goods flowing into Gaza. “We have said an apology will be made, compensation will be paid and the blockade on Palestine will be lifted,” Erdogan said Sunday in a public address in Turkey, according to the Associated Press. “There will be no normalization without these.
“Normalization will happen the moment there is an implementation. But if there is no implementation, then I am sorry.”
The two leaders talked last Friday by phone in a communication initiated by President Obama, according to statements by Netanyahu’s office and the White House. Netanyahu apologized for “operational errors” during the raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.
“The two men agreed to restore normalization between Israel and Turkey, including the dispatch of ambassadors and the cancellation of legal steps against IDF soldiers,” said the Israeli statement.