Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday announced that his country would improve its ties with Israel if the latter displays “more sensitive” policies towards Palestinians.
Erdogan told reporters in the Qatari capital Doha that Turkey was welcoming the United Arab Emirates’ “desire to restore relations,” and that it was “possible to follow suit with Israel and Egypt.”
“The Turkish foreign and intelligence ministers are playing an active role in restoring ties with the UAE,” he pointed out, adding that restoring ties with Israel “could be achieved.”
Referring to previous Turkish-Israel talks, Erdogan explained that Israel must be “more sensitive concerning its Palestinian policy.”
“It [Israel] needs to be sensitive about Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said. “As soon as we detect the sensitivities, we will do our best and take steps [for better ties],” the Turkish leader continued.
Relations between Turkey and Israel deteriorated after the assault by Israeli commandos on the Turkish-registered Mavi Marmara in international waters in May 2010; nine Turkish citizens on board were killed and another died of his wounds later. The ship was sailing towards the Gaza Strip as part of the Freedom Flotilla to break the Israeli-led siege of the Palestinian enclave. At the time, Ankara recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv.