News / Middle East

Israel Apologizes to Turkey Over Flotilla Deaths

VOA News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apologized to Turkey for a deadly naval raid in 2010 and announced a full resumption of diplomatic ties with Ankara.

After the gesture, officials from both countries said diplomatic relations had been fully restored and that ambassadors would be reinstated.

The diplomatic breakthrough was facilitated by U.S. President Barack Obama at the end of his three-day visit to Israel.

A statement from Netanyahu's office said the agreement came during a telephone call Friday between the Israeli prime minister and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The statement said Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people for the loss of life that occurred during the 2010 raid and that he expressed regret over the deterioration in bilateral relations between the two countries.

A statement from  Erdogan's office said he accepted the apology.  It also said an agreement had been reached on the issue of compensation in the naval raid.

Ties between Israel and Turkey have been strained since May 2010, when Israeli commandos raided the ship, the Mavi Marmara, leading the the death of nine Turkish activists.

President Obama said Friday at a press conference in Amman that he has been encouraging Israeli and Turkish officials to repair their damaged relations.  During talks earlier with Netanyahu, Obama said the time seemed right to push for a breakthrough.  

Senior Obama administration officials said the U.S. president was present during Friday's phone call between the Israeli and Turkish prime ministers and they said Obama also spoke on the phone with Erdogan.

A U.S. foreign policy expert, Natan Sachs with the Brookings Institution, described the diplomatic breakthrough to VOA's Encounter program as a "huge success."

"It is really one of those rare situations in the Middle East where you have a win-win,"said Sachs. "It’s good for Israel.  It is good for Turkey and it is very good for an ally of both, the United States."

The Mavi Marmara was carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in 2010 in defiance of an Israeli blockade aimed at preventing weapons from reaching militants.  A confrontation on the vessel led to the killing of nine Turkish activists and the wounding of several Israeli soldiers.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid