Daily Israel Report

Turkey Gives Israel 24 Hours to Apologize

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu warns his country will implement 'Plan B' if Israel fails to say it is sorry over Marmara
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/1/2011, 7:21 PM

urkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu gave the Jewish state 24 hours Thursday to apologize for the killing of Turkish activists who attacked its soldiers on the Mavi Marmara last year. Otherwise, he warned, his country would take diplomatic steps against Israel. 

Davutoğlu insisted that the apology must be given before the publication Friday of the UN-sponsored Palmer report on the Mava Marmara incident.

"We will not agree to a six-month delay in the report's publication," he said – in response to reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants more time to reach agreement with Turkey on the matter. 

Turkish newspaper Today Zaman quoted sources close to the Foreign Minister who said that he would be returning to Ankara Friday from a summit in Paris, and begin discussions ahead of the publication of the Palmer report, which is due Friday evening.

Davutoğlu said that to date, all of the requests to postpone the Palmer Report's publication were submitted by Israel. Turkey agreed to the delays several times because Israel wanted to negotiate an agreement with Turkey, he explained. "We waited patiently for an Israeli decision," he said, "but it appears Israel has difficulty reaching decisions. Turkey has clarified its position on the subject and we made clear that we would not accept a further postponement of the publication of the report."

The diplomat claimed that Israel had informed Turkey that it would agree to apologize but "when it reached the final stage, Israel always took a step back at the last minute because of the coalition." 

"Turkey will place sanctions that are well-known to Israel and other international elements," he warned. "If Israel does not apologize, we will begin to implement Plan B." This plan calls for the downgrading of diplomatic relations between the countries and "lawfare" against Israel in the world's courtrooms.

Davutoğlu admitted that the report will contain some conclusions that Turkey will reject.