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ANKARA, Turkey—A senior U.S. senator called on Turkey and Israel to overcome recent tensions and renew close ties to help with peace efforts in the Middle East.

"It is important that Turkey and Israel renew relations and go back to the way they were," Kerry said.

Israel and Turkey built strong military and economic ties over the past 15 years, and Turkey became Israel's closest ally in the Muslim world.

Relations between the two soured, however, with Turkey's Islamic-oriented government's increasingly vociferous criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians. They hit an all-time low in May, when Israeli naval commandos killed nine activists from Turkey on board a Gaza-bound ship that tried to breach Israel's naval blockade.

Turkey has made an Israeli apology and compensation for the victims' families a condition for improved ties. Israeli commandos said they opened fire in self-defense after meeting what they called unexpected resistance when they boarded the ferry carrying aid supplies to Gaza.

Kerry said he understood Turkey's strong reaction to the incident, but said Israel "had acknowledged that some mistakes had been made."

He said he was confident tensions can be "put in a proper perspective" if the people of Israel and Turkey try and understand each other.

"I think it is entirely possible that we can move beyond the tensions," he said before a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kerry was in Ankara as part of wider Middle Eastern tour that will also take him to Israel. The U.S. senator visited Sudan, Lebanon and Syria.

Turkey had mediated several rounds of indirect negotiations between Israel and Syria in 2008, but the talks made no significant headway and were suspended following the Israeli military offensive in Gaza the following year.

© Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/ma...n_kerry_israel_turkey_must_overcome_tensions/

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Israel apology can fix relations: Turkey

Paris - Turkey will not begin to restore relations with Israel unless it apologises for its "savage attack" on a Turkish protest vessel, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

"Israel will apologise. And Israel will have to pay compensation. And then we can start negotiating," Erdogan told France 24 television, according to the Paris-based news network's translation from the Turkish.

Turkey was once Israel's closest military and diplomatic ally in the Middle East, but ties began to deteriorate when Ankara criticised Israel's January 2009 military assault on the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Relations then plunged into more-or-less open hostility in May of this year after Israeli naval commandos stormed a Turkish-registered protest ship, the Mavi Mara, part of a flotilla carrying activists and relief supplies to Gaza.

Nine Turkish activists were killed in the operation.

Israel says its boarding party opened fire when it was attacked with knives and iron bars. Turkey says the naval operation was illegal and that commandos fired on defenceless civilians.

'Savage attack'

"Let me say clearly that it is Israel who is responsible for the current state of our mutual relationship, and nobody should interpret it in another way," Erdogan said in the France 24 interview.

"How can you forgive attacks from the air and from the sea against a ship sailing under the Turkish flag and carrying passengers from all around the world who wanted to help other people?

"I consider it a savage attack to act like this in international waters. There is no other explanation to this," he said.

"Did they find any weapons? No. And they attacked these defenceless people from the air and from the sea. So there is no excuse whatsoever for such an attitude," he declared.

Turkey's spat with Israel has undermined the broader Middle East peace process, by ending Ankara's role as a mediator between Israel and some of its Palestinian and Syrian opponents.

Last month, Damascus said that only Turkey could act as an intermediary in any indirect peace negotiations between Syria and Israel.



- AFP

http://www.news24.com/World/News/Israel-apology-can-fix-relations-Turkey-20101110

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PS: I like Israel, but they better start getting their act together if they don't want to alianate the only country in the region that has some sort of proper relationship with them.
 

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Israel apology can fix relations: Turkey

Paris - Turkey will not begin to restore relations with Israel unless it apologises for its "savage attack" on a Turkish protest vessel, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

"Israel will apologise. And Israel will have to pay compensation. And then we can start negotiating," Erdogan told France 24 television, according to the Paris-based news network's translation from the Turkish.

Turkey was once Israel's closest military and diplomatic ally in the Middle East, but ties began to deteriorate when Ankara criticised Israel's January 2009 military assault on the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Relations then plunged into more-or-less open hostility in May of this year after Israeli naval commandos stormed a Turkish-registered protest ship, the Mavi Mara, part of a flotilla carrying activists and relief supplies to Gaza.

Nine Turkish activists were killed in the operation.

Israel says its boarding party opened fire when it was attacked with knives and iron bars. Turkey says the naval operation was illegal and that commandos fired on defenceless civilians.

'Savage attack'

"Let me say clearly that it is Israel who is responsible for the current state of our mutual relationship, and nobody should interpret it in another way," Erdogan said in the France 24 interview.

"How can you forgive attacks from the air and from the sea against a ship sailing under the Turkish flag and carrying passengers from all around the world who wanted to help other people?

"I consider it a savage attack to act like this in international waters. There is no other explanation to this," he said.

"Did they find any weapons? No. And they attacked these defenceless people from the air and from the sea. So there is no excuse whatsoever for such an attitude," he declared.

Turkey's spat with Israel has undermined the broader Middle East peace process, by ending Ankara's role as a mediator between Israel and some of its Palestinian and Syrian opponents.

Last month, Damascus said that only Turkey could act as an intermediary in any indirect peace negotiations between Syria and Israel.



- AFP

http://www.news24.com/World/News/Israel-apology-can-fix-relations-Turkey-20101110

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+1 to Erdogan? Is that really you or someone hijacked your account?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
^^

Dunno, I was probably drunk when I posted it...
 
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