Photo: Gil Yohanan
President Sezer in Knesset
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Turkish President: Our ties survived many trials

Addressing Knesset, Ahmet Necdet Sezer praises strong Israeli-Turkish ties which ‘survived many difficult trials,’ offers to contribute to Palestinian-Israeli efforts to achieve peace; Peres: Israeli tourists prefer Turkey, and I think they have good taste

In an appearance before the Israeli parliament Wednesday, Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said he hoped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be solved through negotiations based on the road map peace plan, “to establish two countries for two peoples – countries that peacefully coexist.”


Sezer added: “For the sake of a solution, we are prepared to offer support through any available channels. We believe that the Israeli government will act determinedly to achieve peace. We expect Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to open contacts with the Palestinian president as soon as possible.”  


The president praised Turkish-Israeli relations, which saw some ups and downs over the past few years. “The friendship and amity between us have undergone tests in good and bad times, and strengthened over time. They provide the strong foundations for the cooperation between the Turkish republic and the Israeli nation. Our bilateral relations are have expanded in all areas in the last few years. With that, we know that through joint work we can further deepen our cooperation on the basis of mutual interests,” he said.


Sever noted that he believed the cooperation of the two democratic nations in the Middle East would contribute to achieving peace, stability and prosperity in the area.


Since Ataturk’s revolution


Shimon Peres, Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee, recalled Turkey’s ties to Israel’s history and leaders. “This is the opportunity to tell that two people, David Ben Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Tzvi, were academically educated in Turkey, learned the language and were impressed by the historical events in your country,” Peres told the visiting president. “They were in your country during decisive years, when Ataturk was fomenting the revolution whose far-reaching results are still felt today. In many ways there hasn’t been a leader who reached so far; he knew that if Turkey was isolated it couldn’t affect the world. Everything that Ataturk did led Turkey to be the country it is today.”


“In your time, Mr. President, the tradition of good relations between the Turks and the Jews continues,” Peres said. “During your tenure as president, the legislative court has been uncompromising in ascertaining civilian rights, and you pushed advancing our relations so they wouldn’t focus only on military matters, but civilian matters as well.


“Throughout the years our peoples have been in a special place – not in the conflict club but in a state of cooperation. The Turkish government wants a role in negotiations for peace. Israeli tourists prefer Turkey over every other country – and I believe they have chosen well. We pray that tourism wins,” Peres added.


Bibi: No coalition and opposition here


Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Regarding Turkey, we have no opposition and coalition. We are all for strengthening relations between Israel and Turkey. Turkey accepted Spanish Jewry, Turkey didn’t give its hand ever – and especially not now – to anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement.”


“The two strongest nations in the Middle East economically are Israel and Turkey, and this is not by chance. We can maintain enlightened democratic regimes. This model works when your want it to. Israel should be interested in strengthening Turkey. Turkey is a very important country because it represents the alternative,” he said.


פרסום ראשון: 06.07.06, 17:43
 new comment
This will delete your current comment