Turkish diplomat warns break with Israel possible
Turkey`s ambassador to Washington is warning that his country could be forced to break relations with Israel unless it apologises for its deadly raid against a Turkish aid ship.
Washington: Turkey`s ambassador to
Washington is warning that his country could be forced to
break relations with Israel unless it apologises for its
deadly raid against a Turkish aid ship.
In a meeting with reporters, Namik Tan outlined three
Turkish demands for Israel including a public apology. He said
Israel also must accept a credible independent investigation
of the raid and end its blockade against Gaza.
When asked if Turkey might break relations, Tan cited
the high emotions of the Turkish public about the raid.
"We don`t want this to go to that point," he said.
"The government might be forced to take such an
Turkish rhetoric has been heated since the botched
raid, in which Israeli commandos clashed with activists after
rappelling onto a ship from helicopters. Eight Turks and an
American of Turkish descent were killed and hundreds of others
on the ship were arrested and later deported.
Israel has rejected demands for an international
panel to probe Monday`s deadly commando raid on the aid ships,
saying it can conduct a professional, impartial investigation
on its own. It says its commandos opened fire Monday as a last
resort after they were attacked.
Tan also repeated Turkish calls for the United
States to condemn the raid. He said that Turkish Prime Minster
Recep Tayyip Erdogan had asked President Barack Obama for a
condemnation in a telephone conversation this week.
Tan expressed gratitude for earlier US efforts with
Israel to push for the release of detained activists. But he
said that Turkey was disappointed that Washington had not
called for an independent investigation and said that Israel
could investigate the raid itself.
Tan said that Turkey was prepared to improve
relations if its demands were met.
"Israel cannot find any better friend in this
region than Turkey," he said. "Israel is about to lose that