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Turkey-Israel ties may be linked to gas pipeline

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is inching toward normalization of Turkey-Israel relations.
Israeli soldiers ride aboard a naval vessel in the Mediterranean Sea May 31, 2010. Israeli marines stormed a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza on Monday and 10 pro-Palestinian activists were killed, triggering a diplomatic crisis and plans for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council. REUTERS/Uriel Sinai/Pool (POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR2ELNX
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Following months of bargaining over compensation for pro-Palestinian Turkish activists killed by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010, Turkey and Israel appear close to a deal that could pave the way to normalized relations in the near future. This development comes almost a year after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure from President Barack Obama, apologized to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara raid.

Ankara accepted the apology, but then appeared to be in no a rush to normalize relations, leaving US and Israel officials wondering whether Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sincere about re-establishing ties with the Jewish state. Developments in the Middle East, however, especially in Syria, which is going haywire for Turkey, are clearly weighing on Ankara and forcing its hand.

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