Minister Ben Eliezer’s meeting didn’t change a thing for the Turks, who are only intensifying their threats. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Debotolo repeated Ankara’s demand for an apology for the “attack” on the Gaza aid flotilla: “Ties will be cut off if Israel does not apologize.” Regarding the Israeli inquiry, said: “If it decides that the raid was unjustifiable and they apologize, that will suffice.”
Binyamin Ben Eliezer’s attempted appeasement meeting did not achieve any success: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmat Debotolo, who met last week with the Israeli industry trade and labor minister is once again threatening: If Israel does not apologize for the events on the flotilla and the killing of Turkish citizens, we will cut diplomatic ties. The threat joins Turkey’s intention of closing its airspace to Israeli civilian flights as well.
In an interview that was published this morning in Turkish media outlets, Debotolo repeated Ankara’s demands according to which Israel’s leaders must submit an official apology for the IDF commandos’ raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.
“Ties will be cut if Israel does not apologize or accept the conclusions of an international inquiry panel regarding the attack on the aid flotilla,” said Debotolo.
“Israel must announce that the raid was unjustifiable”
The Turkish minister also spoke about the launching of an Israeli board of inquiry, saying: “If it decides that the raid was unjustifiable and if they apologize, that will satisfy us.”
Last Friday, a Turkish newspaper reported that Turkey was threatening to completely close off its airspace to Israeli flights, including civilian flights. This comes after Ankara already closed its airspace to the Israeli Air Force, even in a recent case where a flight of IDF officers were flying to Auschwitz for a memorial ceremony. A Turkish official was quoted as saying that it didn’t matter if the destination were Auschwitz or Disney Land.
The implications of a ban are that Israelis who want to fly to Turkey will have to use foreign carriers.