Haaretz - Turkey in warning to Israel: You have one day to apologize for Gaza flotilla raid
- Haaretz - Thu, September 01, 2011
Published 15:15 01.09.11
Latest update 15:15 01.09.11
Turkey in warning to Israel: You have one day to apologize for Gaza
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says UN-authored Palmer report on the
2010 incident must be published by September 2 as scheduled, and
threatens sanctions if Israel doesn't apologize beforehand.
By Barak Ravid
Turkey declared Thursday that it would not tolerate further delay in the
release of a United Nations report concerning Israel's deadly raid on a
Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010, and warned of consequences including
sanctions should Israel continue to refuse to apologize for the incident.
Publication of the Palmer Commission's report into the Israel Defense
Force's raid, in whichTurkish activists died aboard the Mavi Marmara,
has been postponed three times. In each case the delay took place
following the consent of both Turkey and Israel, and as a result of
their joint request to the UN secretary general.
Haaretz reported earlier this week that Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu had suggested to both Turkey and to the United Nations
secretary general that the release date again be postponed past the
scheduled September 2 release date, and that the idea was dismissed by
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told the Turkish daily Today
Zaman on Thursday that Ankara "could not accept a six-month extension."
"The release date of the UN report is the last date for us. We will put
Plan B into play if no [Israeli] apology,” Davutoğlu told the Today's
Zaman, without elaborating on what that "Plan B" may be.
In another reference to the possible consequences that would occur in
the eventuality that Israel continued to avoid a public apology for the
raid, the Turkish FM said that Turkey intended to " impose sanctions
which both Israel and other international parties are aware of."
Davutoğlu explained, according to the Today Zaman, that Turkey has
determined a very clear and principled position and that it will also do
what is necessary.
According to the top Turkish official, Israel and Turkey were in fact
already on their way to resolve the issue that has stood between the
long-time allies for over a year, saying that the two countries were
well on their way to agreeing on an apology, when Israel reportedly
"stepped back" at the last minute due to what the Zaman has called
"intra-coalition squabbles while making a political decision."
We patiently waited for Israel to decide. It seems Israel has some
difficulty in making a decision. Turkey has already determined its
position on this issue. We have already expressed that we cannot accept
that,” Davutoğlu added.
The Turkish FM also said that Ankara would fulfill all that is required
from it when the UN announces the report, adding that the flotilla raid
report will not be a “jointly approved report” and that there might also
be some elements that Turkey won't agree to. “We will unveil our
position regarding those [elements],” he added.