Turkey’s Prime Minister said on Wednesday that his country’s ties with Israel can be restored if Israel “stops killing children”.
Speaking to a reporter from Kol Yisrael radio on the sidelines of the Economic Forum in Davos, Ahmet Davutoglu also conditioned the improvement of relations between his country and Israel on the Jewish state accepting all the demands made by Ankara on the issue of compensation for the victims of the Mavi Marmara incident.
Davutoglu further said that he is not retracting the comparison he made between the terrorist attacks in Paris and Israel’s counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
The Turkish premier added that the world must unite against global terrorism but also against “brutal acts”, as he put it, such as the ones Israel carried out in Gaza.
Last week, Davutoglu claimed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had committed crimes against humanity comparable to those behind the Paris attacks, and followed that up by accusing Netanyahu of terrorism.
Davutoglu’s verbal assault on Israel came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted Netanyahu for "daring" to attend the weekend's anti-terror solidarity march in Paris after the attacks.
Turkey's relations with Israel - once a key partnership for the Jewish state with a Muslim nation - have steadily deteriorated under Erdogan's rule and reached their lowest point following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.
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.
Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan over the Marmara incident at the urging of the United States, and the sides were supposed to enter talks on compensation for the victims, but those seem to have stalled.