Israel and Turkey in new talks of reconciliation

By Nathan Jeffay, November 29, 2012

Israel and Turkey have conducted talks in a bid to fix their fraught relationship, it was confirmed this week.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu confirmed on Sunday that the countries recently held reconciliation talks. Israeli envoy Joseph Ciechanover met Turkish Foreign Ministry Director Feridun Sinirlioğlu in Geneva.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Paul Hirschson said: “We are keen to improve the relationship.”

According to a Turkish media report, Turkey is demanding an apology for the flotilla deaths, compensation for bereaved families, and an end to the blockade of Gaza in return for normalised relations. It is believed that Israel is agreeable to the first two demands but hesitant about the third.

Bar Ilan University’s Amikam Nachmani, a specialist in Israel-Turkey relations, said that Ankara is keen to reassert its relevance in the Middle East after Cairo beat it in the scramble to mediate last week’s ceasefire, making Turkish efforts irrelevant. Securing the end of the Gaza blockade would restore Ankara’s relevance.

Last updated: 2:41pm, November 29 2012