Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
said last Monday that a Jewish tycoon was sent to Ankara to mediate between Israel
A newspaper report suggests that the mediator is Ronald Lauder,
a close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
who previously mediated between Israel and Syria.
In an interview with Hurriyet newspaper, Erdogan said, "They sent us the world's richest Jew several months ago." He was answering a question on the current state of Israel Turkey relations. He noted that Israel has ties with one Muslim state and advised Israeli leaders to maintain good relations with Ankara.
Erdogan further stressed he has not forgotten about the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, in which nine Turks were killed. He stipulated three conditions necessary for the reestablishment of relations with Ankara: an apology for the killing of Turkish citizens, compensation for the victims' families and the lifting of the Gaza blockade.
Addressing the anti-Islam film
that ignited riots across the Muslim world, he pledged to bring the matter up with the UN and lobby for the inclusion of Islamophobia in the category of hate crimes.
"You can say what you want about religion and faith but you must stop when you cross another person's line," he said. The Turkish prime minister has called protesters to avoid violence since the riots started last week.