Normalized Ties between Turkey and Israel, Hamas Urges Turkey on Its Position against Gaza siege

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will make a statement about reconciliation negotiations with Israel on Monday, according to Anadolu Agency.

Turkish Foreign Ministry official asserts that Turkey, Israel bound by post-Arab Spring security threats,
According to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, Yildirim is due to make a statement at 1 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) regarding the stage at which negotiations with Israel have reached.
from his side, Normalized relations between Israel and Turkey — two “democratic and stable countries” — is of particular importance in an unstable area like the Middle East, Israeli lawmaker Ksenia Svetlova said Friday in Istanbul.

Speaking at an event organized by Istanbul Kultur University’s Global Political Trends Center, Svetlova stressed that Israel and Turkey had to take “joint action”, particular in regards to the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara in 2010.

“You know Israel apologized [for the Mavi Marmara attack], as expected. The next step is compensation to be paid out to the families of the victims,” she said.

“Here, Turkey has some responsibilities to coordinate the issues involved,” Svetlova added.
Noting that Turkish and Israeli officials planned to sign an agreement next Sunday, Ozcan said the normalization of Turkey-Israel ties was affecting Turkey’s regional relationships.

“A serious security problem occurred in the Middle East after the so-called Arab Spring. We see that what binds Israel and Turkey is this security problem,” he said.

“Therefore, taking joint action on security issues will be on the agenda,” Ozcan added, Anadolu Agency reported.

Israeli Consul-General in Istanbul Shai Cohen, for his part, said that both countries were trying to establish the basis for an agreement covering commercial, cultural and economic issues.

Commenting on the blockaded Gaza Strip, Cohen said Israel planned to accelerate the reconstruction process in Gaza and was aware that Turkey was an important participant in this process.

Stressing Israel’s “red lines” in Syria, Cohen said: “There will be no terrorist activities by Syria in the Golan Heights… No weapons will be distributed from the Syrian side to Hezbollah or other forces… and the distribution of chemical weapons will be prevented.”

He added: “Israel will not intervene in Syria’s internal affairs except for these red lines. Our position is neither pro-Assad nor anti-Assad.”
In a related development, The Hamas delegation to Turkey has urged the Turkish leadership to insist on ending the blockade on the Gaza Strip as a condition for its reconciliation with Israel. In a press release on Saturday, the Hamas Movement said that head of its political bureau Khaled Mishaal and a number of its senior members conducted talks in Istanbul with president Recep Erdogan, premier Binali Yıldırım and other Turkish officials.

The delegation highlighted the Palestinian people’s hope that the Turkish leadership could succeed in having the blockade on Gaza lifted through its current reconciliation talks with Israel.

During the visit, the delegation congratulated the Turkish leadership on the formation of the new government and discussed with it several issues of mutual interests, including the latest developments in the Palestinian arena. Recently, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country rejects any Israeli call for severing its ties with Hamas, which was elected by its own people.
. He also stated that Turkey’s relations with Hamas would not represent an obstacle to the normalization of ties with Israel, affirming that Ankara would continue to be in touch with Hamas in order to achieve a comprehensive peace in the occupied territories.

Turkish-Israeli relations were suspended in 2010 after Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, as it was carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, being a part of the multi-faith convoy of six ships organized by a coalition of NGOs from 37 countries. As a result of the attack, eight Turkish citizens and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent were killed and a tenth died three years later of his wounds.

Turkey and Israel have been holding talks to normalize relations more than six years after Israeli troops stormed Gaza-bound aid flotilla Mavi Marmara in international waters.