Turkey's Prime Minister: We don't need Israeli tourists
Wednesday, 06. June 2012, 19:33
The Turkish Prime Minister has repeated that Israel must apologize for the flotilla deaths and remove the Gaza blockade.
"We don't need Israeli tourists in Turkey and we
don't feel their absence," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
told journalists from "Yediot Ahronot" and "Maariv" during
a reception in Istanbul yesterday. "We have replaced Israeli tourists with
other tourists and last year we had 31 million tourists."
He added, "Only if Israel apologizes for IDF soldiers
boarding the Marmara and killing Turkish activists, and pays compensation to
the families of the dead, and removes the terrible blockade on Gaza, will I be
ready to meet with the Israeli prime minister, and perhaps normalize relations
between the countries."
Erdogan continued, "If and when Israel meets these
conditions, then relations can flourish as they did in the past. We will not
compromise over these conditions, even if the price is a protracted crisis
between the countries."
Erdogan claimed that Israel had not observed UN Security
Council decisions and was receiving US support for this. He said, "This is
an intolerable situation that is not going to change in the near future because
the composition of the Security Council is convenient for Israel."
Erdogan attacked Israel for its alleged treatment of the
Palestinians. He said, "Palestinian men, women and children that have done
nothing wrong are being killed wholesale or held in the largest prison."
He added, "I'm waiting for an answer from Benjamin
Netanyahu. Time is running out for advancing talks over the peace process with
Israel. I've sent him two simple questions."
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