Turkey PM rules out ‘normalizing’ ties with Israel as long as Gaza offensive continues
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says there can be no normalizing of Turkish-Israeli ties as long as Israel continues its offensive in Gaza.
Turkey and Israel have been working toward improving ties that were soured after Israeli commandos stormed a pro-Palestinian ship in 2010, killing eight Turks and one Turkish-American.
Israel apologized to Turkey for the deaths and agreed to pay compensation under a U.S.-brokered arrangement in 2013. Turkish officials said in March the sides were close to reaching a deal to restore ties.
Erdogan told Israel late Thursday, “You have to end this oppression. As long as it does not end, a normalizing of ties between Turkey and Israel is not possible.”
Erdogan was speaking during his campaign for presidential elections in August.