Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Turkey and Israel are looking for ways to normalize political relations, saying, “We want to restore relations with Turkey.”
Netanyahu spoke to a group of Turkish journalists in Jerusalem and his comments were reported by the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman.
“In a region where instability reigns, Israel and Turkey are two quite stable countries. I believe in [our] common interest,” Netanyahu told the journalists, adding that Turks and Jews have a long history.
The newspaper noted that the conversation between Netanyahu and the Turkish journalists was the first time since the May 2010 incident on the Mavi Marmara, which occurred when the ship tried to break the blockade on Gaza and refused to turn aside when ordered to. When IDF soldiers boarded the ship they were violently attacked. Soldiers opened fire in response, killing nine Turkish activists.
The incident caused Israel’s relationship with Turkey, already strained, to break down completely. Turkish leaders demanded an apology, but Israeli leaders refused, saying Israel had acted in self-defense.
Today’s Zaman noted that Netanyahu received the Turkish journalists in the same room where Israel’s National Security Cabinet meets. In the back, behind Netanyahu both Israeli and Turkish flags stood….READ MORE