Turkey will never abandon Palestinians, PM says

Turkey will never abandon Palestinians, PM says

Turkey will never abandon Palestinians, PM says

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The main objective of Turkey’s attempt to normalize ties with Israel is to provide more help to Palestinians, the Turkish prime minister has said, vowing the state will never take steps that would “sadden” the people of Palestine. 

“No one is more sensitive on Gaza, Palestine, than us. Our sole goal is to bring solutions to the problems of our Palestinian brothers. This is the main objective behind our talks for the normalization of our relationship with Israel. We will not take any steps that would sadden Palestine and Gaza but we won’t hesitate to take every step that would be to their benefits, no matter what they say,” Davutoğlu told his parliamentary group on Dec 22. He also exchanged views with Hamas official Khaled Meshal about Turkey’s process with Israel in a meeting over the weekend. 

Prime Minister’s statement came as a secret meeting was last week between senior Turkish and Israeli officials in a bid to normalize relations strained after Israeli commandos killed 9 Turkish and one Turkish-American citizen on the board of Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara in 2010. 

Israel formally apologized to Turkey in 2013 but has yet to meet Turkey’s other demands on compensation and lifting the embargo on Gaza. 

“Turkey has become the first state to ever enjoy the honor of making Israel formally apologize over such an incident. We have not given concessions to anybody while defending our rights,” Davutoğlu said, adding that no final agreement had been reached but talks were continuing positively with Israel.

“Ignore speculations. Our position will not change,” he said. Accordingly, Turkey allegedly insisted on compensation and “lifting restrictions” on Gaza, which is subject to an Israeli blockade, during the meetings.