Turkey’s FM: Tension with Israel won’t change over aid

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Diplomatic tension between Turkey and Israel will continue despite Israeli earthquake aid to the stricken country, Turkey’s foreign minister said.

Ahmet Davutoglu told the Turkish news service Today’s Zaman that “political conditions remain,” and Ankara will not change its position on Israel despite the assistance.

Relations between the former allies are nearly nonexistent now following an Israeli naval commando raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla ship Mavi Marmara last year that left nine Turkish nationals dead, including one dual Turkish-American citizen. 

Turkey has demanded an Israeli apology for the deaths and compensation to the victims’ families. Israel has offered its "regret" for the deaths, and has said that its naval commandos fired in self-defense. Relations had been deteriorating since the 2008-09 Gaza war.

Israel on Wednesday at Turkey’s request sent portable housing units, as well as inflatable mattresses and blankets. There are plans to send more housing units.

More than 450 deaths have been confirmed in Sunday’s 7.3 temblor.
 

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