FM: Israel willing to negotiate with AK Party victory
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAFeb 12, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Feb 12, 2016 12:00 am
With Turkish and Israeli officials resuming talks regarding the normalization of diplomatic relations at a meeting in Switzerland, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has indicated that Israel commenced normalization talks after being assured that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will remain in power. Disclosing detailed information from the Foreign Ministry during the planning and budget commission meeting in Parliament on Wednesday evening, Çavuşoğlu said that talks with Israel continue to progress in a positive direction, noting that however, both sides are yet to reach an agreement. The recent reconciliation talks started after the AK Party gained a powerful election victory in the Nov. 1 general election.
Emphasizing the importance of the Israeli fulfillment of Turkey's three conditions of an official apology for the Mavi Marmara raid, monetary compensation to the victims' families and the easing of blockade of the Gaza strip, Çavuşoğlu said that the blockade of Gaza has been ongoing for nine years and that Turkey has not ceased its efforts to provide basic necessities to the people of Gaza.
The Israeli government took its first step toward reconciliation in March 2013 when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the mishandling of a 2010 raid of the Mavi Marmara. Reconciliation talks continued from 2013 to 2014, but Tel Aviv did not seal the deal in a step that would have allowed for the restoration of diplomatic ties. Touching on that issue, Çavuşoğlu drew attention to the aftermath of the Gezi Park protest in 2013 when Israeli relations remained in limbo, only returning to the negotiation table after learning that the AK Party would remain in power. "Turkey has three conditions for normalization and they have been clear since the beginning. These issues were even discussed two years ago, but Israel refused the proposed deal. Then the Gezi Park protests occurred, and later that year in December unlawful attempts to overthrow our government were committed and [then] snap elections were held [late last year]. When Israel realized that the AK Party would remain in power and was not going anywhere, they redesigned to approach Turkey," he said.
In his presentation before members of Parliament, Çavuşoğlu also informed deputies of Turkey's fight against international terrorism. "We have been exerting all efforts toward reaching a solution on the Syrian crisis as an active member in the coalition against DEASH. We have a list of the alleged members of terrorist organizations that we are utilizing to prevent terrorists from crossing the Syrian border from Turkey, and the list of names exceeds 37,000. Also, more than 3,000 terrorists have already been deported from Turkey," he added.