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      Turkey Flatly Rejects Israeli Peace Overtures

      The Turkish Foreign Ministry rebuffed an Israeli peace proposal saying there is “no change” in Turkey’s stance toward the Jewish state.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 10/23/2012, 10:47 AM / Last Update: 10/23/2012, 2:47 PM

      Turkish Islamists rally against Israel
      Turkish Islamists rally against Israel
      Reuters

      The Turkish Foreign Ministry rebuffed an Israeli peace proposal saying there is “no change” in Turkey’s stance toward the Jewish state, The Hurriyet Daily News reported.

      According to the report, Israeli Foreign Ministry adviser and former Israeli ambassador to Ankara Pinhas Avivi proposed a deal, saying the two countries have to negotiate in order to mutually resolve their issues.

      “We have to overcome our issues and focus on the future. We have both made some mistakes, but the escalated crisis between Israel and Turkey was artificial. We can sit around the table and solve our problems,” Avivi said at a press conference in Jerusalem.

      Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Selcuk Unal immediately responded by saying,  “There is no change in Turkey’s stance towards Israel. Israeli authorities have to take the expected steps to normalize relations instead of giving messages through the press.”

      Avivi suggested that Israel is ready to negotiate over the Mavi Marmara issue without any preconditions.

      According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Avivi said he believed that if Turkey was willing to put the Gaza issue aside in order to continue its relations with Israel, there would be nothing the two countries could not solve.

      Turkish-Israel relations became increasingly hostile in 2010, when Israeli naval commandos, seeking to protect Israel’s national security, boarded the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which was filled with pro-Palestinian activists seeking to unlawfully infiltrate Israel’s borders. The incident resulted in the death of nine Turkish citizens, who had violently attacked the Israeli commandoes as they boarded the ship.