Israel deal would allow Turkish products to enter Gaza easier, says minister
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
In this Saturday Dec. 19, 2015 photo, a Palestinian boy hangs on a door of his home that was painted by artists in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. “It’s a voluntary work to bring joy and happiness for our families and children in the Shati camp,” said Mohammed Dahman, a painter who worked for a month on the project. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi said Dec. 25 that if an agreement with Israel was reached after five years of tense relations, it would allow Turkish products to enter Gaza more easily.
Answering questions at a news conference with members of the Economy Correspondents’ Association, Tüfenkçi said Tel Aviv would allow Turkish products to enter Gaza.
“If an agreement can be reached [between the two countries,] it will be made easier for Turkish products to enter Gaza,” Tüfenkçi said.
“Israel will remove obstacles surrounding the movement of goods from Turkey to the Gaza Strip,” he added.
Turkish-Israeli relations have been tense since Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound flotilla of mainly Turkish activists, killing 10 people aboard the Mavi Marmara, the largest of the six vessels in the flotilla, on May 31, 2010.
Turkey put forth three main steps to mend ties with Israel after the flotilla raid. The first of the hindrances - an apology from Israel - was fulfilled. Negotiations for compensation and the lifting of an embargo on Gaza, the other two steps, are still continuing.
Turkish and Israeli officials held negotiation talks in Switzerland in the first half of December and reached progress on the issue of compensation, while insisting the lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza still remains on the table as a condition for normalization, a Turkish official had told Hürriyet Daily News on Dec. 18.