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Turkey's New PM: No Hope of Normalization with Israel

Turkey's new prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, pessimistic regarding his country normalizing ties with Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/2/2014, 6:13 AM

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Reuters

Turkey's new prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, was pessimistic on Monday regarding the possibility of his country normalizing ties with Israel.

According to Reuters Davutoglu, who spoke to parliamentarians, said he saw no hope of "normalizing" ties with the Jewish state.

He said progress in the normalization of relations with Israel would only be possible if the Jewish state stopped attacks on Gaza and ended its restrictions on the Strip.

The relations between Israel and Turkey broke down after the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, when the Marmara ship, which claimed to be providing "humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza," defied orders to turn around and dock at the Ashdod port. After it ignored repeated warnings to change course, the IDF boarded the vessel - only to be attacked by Islamist extremists on board.

The soldiers had no choice but to open fire, resulting in the deaths of nine of the IHH members on board.

After an investigation, Israeli authorities discovered the vessel to be carrying no humanitarian aid - in fact, no aid supplies at all - whatsoever. 

Then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cut ties with Israel after it refused to apologize for the incident and pay compensation to the families of the victims.

However, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan at the urging of U.S. President Barack Obama, Israel and Turkey began a normalization process.

Davutoglu, who served as Foreign Minister under Erdogan, has been just as vocal a critic of Israel as Erdogan has been.

Erdogan, who was recently elected president, once again began launching verbal attacks on Israel in recent weeks, this time over Operation Protective Edge. He threatened to end the normalization process with Israel over "state terrorism."

At the same time, this past weekend Erdogan shook the hand of an Israeli official during an event marking the annual Turkish Victory Day.