17° AÇIK

It is now Israel’s turn to say ‘One minute!’

It has been claimed that AKP, wanting to come in good terms with Israel in order to overcome the foreign policy crisis, has forsaken even the condition of the lifting of the sanctions on Gaza. A Hamas official said, “Erdoğan explained that Israel  has denied his inititatives and that he has, therefore, become compelled to make progress on the normalization arrangements.”

BİRGÜN DAİLY 25.06.2016 16:58
It is now Israel’s turn to say ‘One minute!’
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Extending an olive branch to Israel after being cornered on foreign policy, AKP has given up even on the condition for the lifting of the sanctions on Gaza, according to some claims. While trying to portray this approach towards Israel as a ‘big step for the lifting of Gaza sanctions’ by making it appear ‘acceptable’ to its own constituents, a Hamas official said, ‘Turkey has taken a step back on the requisite of the lifting of Israel’s sanctions on Gaza.’

According to the reports of Rai al-Youm, one of the England based Arab publications of Isreal’s prominent news source Jerusalem Post, a Hamas official not disclosing his name made these statements: “Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has explained that he has tried every possible effort to stop the seige on Hamas or to make the relations better but that the Israeli government has denied all such initiatives stubbornly.”

‘I have to make progress’

While this shows that Israel is not taking a step backwards, it also reveals how needy AKP is to come to an agreement and how much it is willing to sacrifice its demands, although it had previously been reminding on the conditions for peace on all occassions since Erdoğan’s ‘one minute’ scolding.

The Hamas officials said, “Erdoğan has told the Hamas leadership about how he has to make progress on normalization with Israel for the sake of Turkey’s interests.”

It was actually being speculated that Hamas would be concerned about Israel and Turkey getting closer. Officials of Hamas had made statements about the likelihood of Turkey being content with the easing of the sanctions on Gaza for solely construction equipments, rather than demanding the complete lifting of the blockade. Limiting the activities of Hamas in Turkey, which is also one of Israel’s demands, has also been worrying the organization.

Bending of the rules has been speculated about

Towards the end of the negotiations held behind closed doors, it was made public that the officials of the two countries were to meet, ‘probably for the last time’, in a European capitol city on June 26th and come down to an agreement.

During the normalization talks that were launched in the month of december last year, Turkey had stated its three conditions as ‘an apology for the Mavi Marmara attack,’ ‘payment of compensations to the families of those that lost their lives during the attack,’ and ‘the lifting of the sanctions over Gaza.’ With the intervention of USA, a ‘half-way apology’ was received from Israel. Meanwhile, the only remaining point of conflict was reflected on the press as the issue with the closing down of Hamas’ military representation office in İstanbul. It was also defended that the question of easing the Gaza blockade was somewhat actualized with the term that allowed the passage of all aid through the Ashdod Port.

Finding itself in a natural gas crisis after downing a Russian war plane, Ankara had tried to solve this problem with the help of Israel. However, it was believed that Israel, as a strong actor with a high leverage in bargaining, would ‘take the wind out of Erdoğan’s sails.’

Çavuşoğlu: There can not be a condition related to Hamas

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu staked on the negotiations where AKP appear to have lost and continued to further explain Turkey’s conditions. Indicating that the agreements depend on Israel’s approach, Çavuşoğlu said, “Our conditions are quite explicit. When these conditions are met, we would normalize the relations, appoint our ambassadors again, and take steps forward. The sanctions on Gaza must be lifted.”

Also commenting on the condition regarding Hamas, Minister Çavuşoğlu added, “I don’t think there is an issue about Hamas. Our contacts with Hamas has never been covert since the beginning. And, our relations with Hamas will continue in the future, too, in order to help the peace process in the Middle East. Therefore, for our relations with Israel to normalize, there is no term on Hamas and there can not be.”


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