Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Photo: Reuters

Turkish PM wants to visit Gaza

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says other Turkish officials also interested in Gaza visit. Erdogan: Foreign ministry working on it

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his wish Tueday to visit the Gaza Strip and noted that other Turkish officials are also looking to do the same. Such an announcement has the ability to boost the tension between Ankara and Jerusalem, as Erdogan's visit must first be okayed by Israel.


“If conditions are right, I will consider a visit to Gaza,” Erdogan said. “The foreign ministry will be working on it. I wish to make such a visit, depending on the outcome."



Erdogan's announcement comes more than a year after the Turkish flotilla to Gaza, in which nine Turkish activists were killed during the IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara vessel.


Prior to the flotilla, Turkey rejected Israeli requests to prevent the ships from departing. After the raid, Turkey recalled its ambassador and declared that bilateral relations will not be normalized until Israel apologizes and compensates the victims' families.


Lately it seemed the two countries were once again growing closer, with the help of the United Stated.


A UN inquiry committee into the 2010 flotilla events has yet to finalize its report.


However, it has been reported that its conclusion will place Israel in a more favorable light than Turkey. The committee is expected to conclude that the Israeli blockade on Gaza is legal, despite the IDF allegedly using excessive force.


Despite threats of a second flotilla this summer and Israeli requests to Turkey to prevent such a reoccurrence, the flotilla did not fully materialize. Some officials saw this as a sign that Ankara does not wish to reignite tensions the region again.



פרסום ראשון: 07.19.11, 19:49
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