Turkey Punishes Israel, Blocks It from NATO Summit
Turkey has “punished” Israel by blocking it from a NATO summit in May for not apologizing for killing terrorists on the Mavi Mamara, according to the Turkish Hurriyet News.
“There will be no Israeli presence at the NATO meeting unless they issue a formal apology and pay compensation for the Turkish citizens their commandos killed in international waters,” a senior official told the newspaper. The United States and other countries failed to convince Turkey to withdraw its opposition to Israel’s attending the summit in Chicago May 20 and 21.
In May 2010, IHH terrorists on the boat seized and seriously wounded three Navy commandos and brutally attacked others who had boarded the ship to keep it from reaching Gaza, which is embargoed in order to keep terrorists and weapons from entering.
Nine of the terrorists were killed in the clash, which began when the IHH members attacked the commandoes as they rappelled on deck from a hovering helicopter. The commandoes were unarmed except for paint ball rifles and personal revolvers.
Turkey has already prevented Israeli from opening an office at NATO’s headquarters and participating in the activities of the Mediterranean Dialogue group - on the grounds that it should first bear the consequences of what Turkey called its unlawful action against Turkish citizens.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu informed the NATO ministers of its veto at a meeting in Brussels last week, Hurriyet reported. It added that some ministers threatened a counter-veto against the participation at the Summit by other countries, such as Egypt, Mauritania, Algeria and Morocco.
“You are talking about being partners and partnership values. But partners, first of everything, should act like partners, so that we’ll treat them accordingly,” Davutoğlu responded. “The army of a country which you call a partner killed our citizens upon a political order given by its administration. We do not call this kind of country a partner.”
The Israeli-based DEBKAfile website noted, “Turkey is taking a firm stand against Israel to distract attention from its impotence on Syria.”