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Israel Should Seek to Re-Establish Good Relations With Turkey

Present-day Turkey is completely different from the country Israel knew in the not-too-distant past, writes Arad Nir, and it is precisely because of this that Israel should restore its relations with Ankara.
Pro-Palestinian activists attend a rally to mark the second anniversary of the Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla incident in central Istanbul May 31, 2012. Nine activists, eight Turkish and one Turkish-American, died on May 31, 2010, when Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara ship, which was part of a flotilla seeking to break the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR32WF0
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The harsh statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the effect that “Zionism is a crime against humanity” and the parallel he drew between Zionism and Fascism have sparked an international outcry. It has been pointed out in various quarters that such statements are liable to undermine the strenuous and relentless efforts to bring about reconciliation between Jerusalem and Ankara.

However, in my opinion, it is the persistent refusal of Israel to comply with the threshold conditions set by Turkey for the normalization of relations between the two countries that provokes such statements on the part of Erdoğan, and I believe that more than anything else, they reflect his deep frustration. Turkey severed practically all ties with Israel following the Israeli raid on the Turkish [Mavi Marmara, 2010] flotilla to Gaza, in the course of which nine Turkish citizens were killed. Turkey demanded a public apology on the part of Israel as one of the conditions for the revival of relations between the two countries, but Israel declined to meet the terms.

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