Turkey

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.

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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”.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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Gaza protesters killed in clash with IDF

May 31, 2010

Up to sixteen members of a Turkish Gaza protest organisation are said to have been killed by Israeli forces after fighting on board a flotilla of ships en route to Gaza.

The ships, part of an ‘aid convoy’ from the ‘Free Gaza’ organisation, a Turkish based group, had left northern Cyprus on Sunday. Six boats carried 600 activists. One of those on board was Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Northern Ireland peace protester who won a Nobel Prize in 1976.

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Turkish PM rules against media hate

By Sami Kohen, May 21, 2010

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned government and municipal authorities not to discriminate against non-Muslims, and instructed the country's judicial authorities to act against print and broadcast material that provokes racial and religious hatred.

"Although legal readjustments were made on matters concerning the non-Muslim minorities in our democratisation programme, it has been noticed that these have not been fully implemented," he said in a decree.

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Israel wary of Iranian nuclear deal with Turkey

By Jessica Elgot, May 18, 2010

An Israeli government official has called Iran’s new nuclear deal with Turkey and Brazil a “trick”, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met cabinet members to discuss their concerns.

An agreement was signed yesterday in Tehran that Iran would ship enriched uranium to Turkey.

The enriched uranium would be exchanged for nuclear rods – which can be used in scientific research but cannot be processed to make weapons. However, Iran has said it will still continue to enrich its own uranium.

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