A senior state official said Friday evening that Turkey's decision to expel the Israeli ambassador
did not take Israel
As opposed to previous statements that Jerusalem would try to reach a compromise with Ankara, the senior official said that Turkey was not interested in restoring its relations with Israel. "Those who think otherwise are simply deluding themselves," he noted.
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"This is part of the Islamization spreading there, and we must recognize it. Therefore, unfortunately, we won't be returning to the golden era of our relations with the Turks in the near future."
Clash onboard Marmara (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office)
He added that while Israel sought to solve the crisis with Turkey, Ankara kept on insisting on an apology, compensation and a removal of the Gaza blockade. According to the official, these were steps that Israel could not agree to, "especially as the soldiers were really acting in self-defense against the provocation directed at us.
"We were willing to make quite a few concessions in order to solve the crisis, but the Turks insisted on an apology, when it was clear to us that they were not really planning to restore the relations, but rather to present themselves as the winners in this conflict with us."
The senior official went on to say that Turkey is in a completely different place right now than it was in the past. "The Turkish response today was aimed at compensation for difficult questions raised in their public opinion," he stated.
Turkish PM Erdogan. Political spin? (Photo: AFP)
He also slammed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that "the Palmer Report contradicts everything Erdogan has been celebrating over the past few months. The Turkish public, the families of the Marmara casualties, the Turks injured in the incident – they were all told by Erdogan that Israel is to blame.
"And then came the Palmer Report
and determined the opposite. Erdogan is now forced to explain to his public how this happened. He must deal with it politically. So now there is a spin around this issue, in order to divert the fire and the discussion elsewhere, to a place where Israel is to blame and the report is irrelevant."
The official concluded by explaining why Israel must not apologize for the flotilla events. "Turkey is an important country in the Middle East, but an apology is a very strategic precedent for Israel in this region," he said.