We insisted on the Israeli apology, says Turkish PM

We insisted on the Israeli apology, says Turkish PM

We insisted on the Israeli apology, says Turkish PM

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA Photo

Turkey insisted on three major conditions for the improvement of relations with Israel that included the use of the word ‘apology,’ refusing all previous attempts by Israeli authorities for alternative diplomatic solutions, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his fellow party members today during a group meeting.

“We constantly gave them three conditions,” Erdoğan said. “An apology. They wanted to express sorrow, but we said no. We wanted the word apology.”

Erdoğan said throughout the process the Israeli officials agreed to pay compensation to the Mavi Marmara victims’ families, but were reluctant to fulfill the remaining two conditions, an apology and the end of the Gaza embargo.

“They said, ‘Isn’t it enough if we pay?’ We said no,” Erdoğan told party members, adding that the resolution framework remained the same throughout meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit.

“Another text came to us ahead of President Barack Obama’s Middle East visit,” Erdoğan said. “There were things there that were unacceptable, so we turned it down.”

Erdoğan spoke of the key phone call between the leaders of the estranged countries, noting that during the phone call he spoke to both leaders and the apology that occurred was “witnessed by President Obama.”

The Israeli prime minister also promised to start work on easing the embargo on Gaza, Erdoğan added.

“I told him that we accepted the apology, and that we would follow up with the compensations and the embargo,” Erdoğan said. “We will monitor the situation to see if the promises are kept or not.”