Analysis: Recep Erdogan's strategy may soon backfire

By Meir Javedanfar, July 8, 2010

The results of the recent poll conducted by the Israel Project in the United States must have come as great news to the Turks. According to its findings, only 34 per cent of Americans support the Israeli operation against the flotilla, and this is in a country where public opinion is very sympathetic to Israel.


Israeli coalition hit by secret Turkish meetings

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

A meeting between Israeli and Turkish ministers last week, intended to be secret, seems to have done nothing to improve the countries' rocky relations, instead causing at least two crises within Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition.

Trade and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has close ties with politicians in many Muslim countries and has undertaken delicate diplomatic missions in the past. Following the breakdown of Israel's relationship with the Erdogan administration after the Gaza flotilla incident last month, Mr Ben-Eliezer tried to use back channels to mend fences.


Turkey demand Israel apologise for flotilla raid

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2010

The Turkish foreign minister has warned that the country will sever ties with Israel unless it apologises for the clash on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May.

Nine Turkish pro-Palestinian campaigners died and Israeli commandoes were attacked by activists wielding knives.

Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey will not wait long for the demands to be met, adding: "If they do not make any move, the process of isolating Israel will continue.”

An inquiry panel has already been set up in Israel, with two international overseers including Lord Trimble.


Turkey 'ready to ban all Israel flights'

By Marcus Dysch, July 2, 2010

Turkey will ban commercial flights to and from Israel unless the families of Gaza flotilla victims receive an apology and compensation, according to Turkish media reports.

Israel's Industry Minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, is said to have told Turkey's Foreign Minister at a secret meeting in Brussels that the Jewish state was rethinking its initial refusal to pay compensation.

It was claimed that the Foreign Minister warned that Turkey would ban flights between the countries unless its demands were met.


Turkey blocks Israeli flight on trip to Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, June 28, 2010

A flight carrying a group of Israeli officers going to pay tribute to Holocaust victims at Auschwitz has been turned away after Turkey blocked it from its airspace.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the bar on the military plane flying through Turkish skies was in response to the clash on a ship headed to Gaza in May.

Mr Erdogan, speaking while in Canada for a global summit, reportedly told a Turkish news agency: "We are not interested in making a show”.


Turkish builder sues PM over lost Israeli business

By Jessica Elgot, June 25, 2010

Yilmazlar Construction Group’s chief executive, Ahmet Reyiz Yilmaz, told Bloomberg that $2.6m of his assets had been frozen by Israel because of increased tensions between the countries, following the death of nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists on the Gaza flotilla.

Mr Yilmaz said it was a “dangerous precedent” and blamed the Turkish Prime Minister for ruining his business by his anti-Israel rhetoric.

He said: “The reason was only the politics of our prime minister. He has a responsibility to his country, and he cannot say irresponsible things.”


New Turkish flotilla to Gaza planned

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2010

The Turkish group behind the flotilla which sailed towards Gaza in May has announced it is planning to send more ships.

The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid (IHH), said they would be sending a repeat convoy of at least six ships.

IHH, which allegedly has links with Islamic militant organisations, told members of the European Parliament the ships will set off for Gaza in July.

The move comes after Israeli cabinet ministers met to discuss easing the blockade of Gaza.


Turkey and Hamas to sue Israel flotilla officers

By Jessica Elgot, June 10, 2010

The Hamas justice minister has agreed a deal with Turkey to sue the Israeli officers who took part in the Gaza flotilla raid.

London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Hamas’ Faraj al-Ghoul told his Turkish opposite number, Sadullah Ergin, in a telephone conversation, that Hamas had decided to pursue legally the naval officers through international courts.

Hamas said that Turkey had agreed to support Gaza residents, and to stand "stand-by-side" with them.


Turkey and Israel relations in crisis after flotilla

By Anshel Pfeffer and Sami Kohen, Istanbul, June 3, 2010

The Gaza flotilla affair has plunged the crisis in the Israel-Turkey relationship to new lows and added impetus to Israeli efforts to find alternative allies in the region.

Israeli diplomats admitted this week that the relationship with the Ankara government has never been this bad.

"If we thought that Prime Minister Erdogan could not make things any worse," said one diplomat, "his support for the flotilla and his attacks on us this week have made it clear that there is no longer any strategic alliance between the two countries. At least, not while he is in power."


Turkey gives Gaza ultimatum to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Turkey’s foreign minister has said the country would normalise ties with Israel if it lifts the blockade of Gaza

Following the IDF raid of a flotilla ship on Monday, which left nine dead including several Turkish nationals, Ahmet Davutogu said: "It is time calm replaces anger".

He said: "I see no reason for not normalising the ties, once the Gaza blockade is lifted and our citizens are released."

His comments came as Turkish planes arrived in Israel to take the activists home.