Erdogan: Israel deal achieved all the conditions

Turkish President addresses reconciliation agreement with Israel, says Turkey will seek to improve the living standards of Gazans.

Elad Benari ,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday night addressed the reconciliation agreement his country signed with Israel, saying Turkey would seek to improve the living standards of the people of Gaza following the agreement.

Speaking to tradesmen at an iftar dinner in the Presidential Complex in Ankara and quoted by the Daily Sabah newspaper, Erdogan underscored that Turkey achieved the three conditions it had set in order for relations with Israel to be normalized.

Those conditions, he said, were an apology, which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered in 2013, compensation to the families of those killed on the Mavi Marmara, and an ease of the blockade or embargo to improve the living standards of Palestinians.

Erdogan added that a ship carrying food supplies, clothing and other necessities will be dispatched from Turkey to Gaza before the Eid al Fitr holiday on Friday.

“From now on, all humanitarian assistance can be shipped to Gaza from Turkey,” he said, according to the Daily Sabah, adding that a vessel will depart Turkey's southern Mersin coast to deliver 14 tons of food and other necessities to the people of Gaza.

Erdogan underscored that Turkey will rebuild electrical lines, provide drinking water and address food, medical and housing needs in Gaza.

Netanyahu earlier on Monday officially announced Israel's reconciliation deal with Turkey.

Under the deal, Israel will provide $20 million in compensation to the families of jihadists killed aboard the Mavi Marmara ship, which in 2010 attempted to violently break Israel's blockade on Hamas-ruled Gaza. That is in addition to the official Israeli apology and a deal to allow Turkish humanitarian aid into Gaza via Israel.

In exchange, relations between the two one-time allies will return to normal, and talks will commence on a potentially lucrative natural gas deal.

The deal is already being criticized by several senior Cabinet ministers, including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), who told supporters during a faction meeting that he would maintain his opposition to reconciliation with Turkey.