Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
said Tuesday that his government had rejected several Israeli proposals for reconciliation before the two countries agreed
to normalize their relations.
According to Erdogan, Turkey
insisted on three major conditions for the improvement of relations with Israel
that included the use of the word "apology," Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper reported.
In a meeting with fellow party members Erdogan said, "We constantly gave them three conditions. An apology. They wanted to express sorrow, but we said no. We wanted the word apology.”
The Turkish prime minister claimed that Israeli officials had agreed to pay compensation to the Marmara victims' families but were reluctant to meet Ankara's two other demands: an apology and an end of the Gaza blockade. "“They said, ‘Isn’t it enough if we pay?’ We said no,” Erdogan told party members.
|Erdogan talks to reporters Sunday (Video: Reuters)|
“Another text came to us ahead of President Barack Obama’s Middle East visit,” he added. “There were things there that were unacceptable, so we turned it down.”
According to Erdogan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
had promised to start work on easing the siege.
“I told him that we accepted the apology, and that we would follow up with the compensations and the embargo,” the Turkish premier remarked. “We will monitor the situation to see if the promises are kept or not.”
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