- The Media Line - https://themedialine.org -

Israel-Turkey Talks will Determine Whether There is Rapprochement

Despite the somewhat euphoric reaction to the apparent relations-mending telephone conversation between the Israeli and Turkish prime ministers, talks set for April 12 will determine just how far the new spirit will carry the two nations. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu offered the long-demanded apology for the loss of life aboard the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010, when Israeli commandoes clashed with what the Israelis call “agents provocateur” and the Turks call “nationals.” After the phone call, which was brokered by President Obama, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan was quick to clarify that any rapprochement would be dependent upon Israel agreeing to pay what Ankara is demanding as compensation to the families of those who died aboard the ship: a sum far greater that Israel has indicated it is willing to spend. Adding to the increasing caution is a report by the French news service AFP quoting a lawyer representing one of the families as saying it’s “out of the question” to expect Turkish authorities to drop trials in-absentia of four senior Israeli military officers that have been underway since November – a key demand by the Israelis. The Mavi Marmara had set out to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.