POLITICS > Turkish FM reveals secret diplomacy behind Israel’s apology


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Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. DHA Photo

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. DHA Photo

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu revealed March 28 the background of Israel’s apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara killings of 2010.

“On every diplomatic field, there was heavy pressure on Israel. In some international organizations and other issues there was an ‘area restriction,’ Davutoğlu said in a television program on the private SKYTürk 360 TV channel, adding that the result was an outcome of persistent diplomacy, “because Israel needs to feel this pressure.”

The foreign minister said both sides came closer to striking a deal on some occasions but it was the Israeli side that always stepped back. The issue was first brought up during U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Turkey, Davutoğlu said. “After Kerry’s visit we had contact over the telephone, SMS and emails.”

The foreign minister said Kerry came up with an offer initiative that aimed to solve the dispute between the two countries during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel and Turkey, and accepted the offer on some conditions. “There should be no surprise, everything must be clear and a text should be known.”

Extensive negotiations were conducted over the word “apology,” the compensation to be paid and the lifting the embargo on Gaza, all issued that would be put into the text, according to Davutoğlu. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the text over the phone, and an agreement was reached by both sides.

All contacts through Washington

Davutoğlu said all contact in the 15 days before the apology was made through Washington, and Turkey and Israel did not contact each other directly. “Obama’s presence during the phone conversation softened the atmosphere,” Davutoğlu said. Turkey demanded first that Israel declare their apology but it was delayed due to the translation of the text into Hebrew, according to the foreign minister. He also dismissed claims that the apology is related to the Syrian crisis. “There is no connection between Turkey’s demand for an apology and its actualization and Turkey’s policy to Iran and Syria; it is out of the question.”


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Notice on comments


3/30/2013 4:06:23 PM

@james headington. A rather naive if not one sided outlook, which of course you are entitled to as long as you aren't seriously attempting to convice others. It fails to address terrorist Hamas, their terrorist Chapter and their Iranian support with weapons. As far as the "open prison" description is concerned, it is indeed literally and sensationally melodramatic to say the least... Regards

john albay

3/29/2013 11:41:58 PM

I still dont trust the zionist jews to keep their word,and I am sure they will try to swindle their way out of paying the compersation,or try to pay a very small amount..All the israeli zionists want is the business they lost with Turkey.

Ran Meretz

3/29/2013 11:14:46 PM

Wow,Israel apologized reluctantly . But it did. Since then the Turkish leaders haven't stopped talking about it showing and trying to prove to the electorate how strong they are.Now they even add that it's nothing to do with Syria,Iran and good relations but only because they are strong negotiators . Fine whatever move on.... Luckily once again Israel shows maturity and diplomatic skills in keeping quiet i

james headington

3/29/2013 10:53:32 PM

Lifting the embargo, even if it happens, is not a big deal. Egypt has achieved that already. Lifting the blockade and allowing the "open prison" that Israel has created for Palestinians to become a country is the real deal. Please do not fool us.

james headington

3/29/2013 10:46:44 PM

Turkey is making a historical mistake by siding with the US and Israel against her neighbours. Times and times again, the US has proven to be an unreliable ally and Israelis have blood of children in ME in their hands. Why should Turkey sell its neighbours to those countries? Think about the long term implication of what your doing not the short term ones. The US and Israel will use you and drop you as they have done to a number of other countries. Open your eyes and cherish your rootes.

m kaplan

3/29/2013 9:19:14 PM

1. People have a short memory. 2. The more people get rich the more freedom they will want to have. 3. Life goes by cycles. So what will happen in 10 years. People will demand back the old freedom they had. The AKP will not be there in power for ever and they cannot do anything about it, unless they will do anything to keep Turkey poor, but this is not their policy. The CHP should not react too much on the actions of the AKP The CHP should make make the people of Turkey clear what they stand for

Berge Baronian

3/29/2013 9:05:53 PM

The point is the Turkish people are not stupid...they are well educated and savvy.... Sooner or later they will declare and embrace the truth...The Arab spring happened...Will it be followed by a Turkish Spring....I wonder...

Bear Klein

3/29/2013 7:04:18 PM

A wise person who wanted good relations would take something that benefits them gracefully. An ill willed person who does not truly desire good relations does a lot of talking after good fortune happens to them! Which fits here? I know good smart intelligent educated Turks. The leaders of the AKP do they fit this mold?

plastiman joe

3/29/2013 6:15:26 PM

Davutoglu & Erdogan should learn how to gracefully accept the apology for what it is,and maybe try to build on it. All this "rub it in your face" diatribe by both men only confirms that they certainly not diplomats. How many photos do we have to see of Erdogan with his finger point in the air demanding an apology from some one. I think they are anxios to get off that bus heading for Democracy

rich bind

3/29/2013 5:55:17 PM

Looks like Davutoglu & Erdogan have gone out of their way to prove the Israelis prediction that they would use the apology as anit-Israeli propaganda. Too bad the idea of "diplomacy" is not something they appreciate. That aside, he fails to mention that the Israeli apology was for operational "mistakes" not for intentional acts, as demanded by Turkey. Israel did not agree to lift the blockade, only the embargo, which had previously been relaxed anyway.
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