Turkey expels Israeli ambassador, cuts all military ties
As reports have been published about Israel’s refusal to present an official apology to Turkey over the Israeli Navy’s attack against Turkish Mavi Marmara that was carrying aid to the besieged Gaza strip in 2010, Turkey has assured that it will respond to such a step by imposing sanctions against Israel.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted by the Turkish Hurriyet Daily as saying that “if Israel did not apologize and did not declare its willingness to financially compensate the families of the dead and those injured, Turkey will put in place certain sanctions.”
The sanctions include limiting diplomatic relations between the two countries and expelling the Israeli ambassador from Turkey, as well as launching a campaign in the United Nations against the Zionist entity.
Ynet news quoted an Israeli official as saying that “the (Israeli) Prime Minister knows that the public objects to apologizing to Turkey, and he apparently chose to go with what the public thinks.”
On Friday, the Turkish Foreign Minister held a press conference in which he announced the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.
“At this point the measures we are taking are: The relations between Turkey and Isreal will be downgraded to second secretary level. All officials over the level of second secretary, primarily the ambassador, will turn back to their country at the latest on Wednesday,” Davutoglu said.
“Second, all the military agreements between Israel and Turkey are suspended… “Third, as the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterrenean, Turkey will take every precaution it considers necessary for the safety of maritime navigation to East Mediterranean,” he added.
Also from Reuters:
Davutoglu said some of the [Palmer/Uribe] report’s findings were questionable and that Turkey did not recognize the legitimacy of the blockade of Gaza.
“Turkey will take all measures which it sees as necessary for freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean,” Davutoglu said.
“Turkey does not recognize Israel’s blockade of Gaza. It will secure the study of this blockade at the International Court of Justice. We are beginning initiatives to get the U.N. General Assembly moving (on this),” he added.
He also said support would be given to Turkish and foreign victims to seek justice from courts.