News / Europe

    Israel Turkey Relations Worsen After UN Report

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to the media in Ankara, Turkey, September 2, 2011.
    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to the media in Ankara, Turkey, September 2, 2011.
    Dorian Jones

    Turkey's foreign minister says his government plans to apply to the International Court of Justice this week for an investigation into Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. The move is expected to further deepen the diplomatic crisis between the two countries and comes despite calls from the U.N. secretary general to end the crisis.  

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s comments were made after Turkey suspended military agreements with Israel and moved to downgrade diplomatic relations on Friday.

    The Turkish moves follow the release of a U.N. report into last year's killing of nine Turks during an Israeli operation to stop a flotilla ships trying to break its blockade. The report concluded that Israel used excessive force against the flotilla, though its blockade of Gaza was legal.

    Tensions have steadily increased over Jerusalem's refusal to meet Ankara's demands for an apology and compensation to the families of the dead.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that while his government regrets the deaths caused by the flotilla raid, the naval commandos defended their lives against violent activists.  Netanyahu also said he hoped to mend ties with Turkey.

    But Turkish Political columnist Asli Aydintasbas says that is unlikely unless Jerusalem meets Ankara's demands.

    "Knowing the prime minister's personality and knowing the importance of this issue for Turkey, I do not see how Turkey can accept anything short of an apology," said Aydintasbas.

    The deepening diplomatic crisis follows calls for restraint by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

    "Both sides are very important countries in the region," he said. "Their improving relationship, normal relationship will be very important in addressing all the situations Middle East."

    Observers warn the deepening Israeli-Turkish crisis could threaten to further destabilize an increasingly volatile Middle East.

    Political scientist Soli Ozel explains.

    "There lies a powerful struggle between Turkey and Israel over who is going to be the top honcho [leader] in the eastern Mediterranean," said Ozel.

    Tensions could rise even further with reports Erdogan is planning to visit Gaza in mid September. Turkey's Islamic-rooted ruling AK Party has strong ties with the Hamas leadership of Gaza.

    Israel says it needs to maintain a naval blockade on Gaza to prevent arms smuggling to the ruling Hamas Islamic movement, classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the European Union and the United States. Palestinians say the blockade causes undue suffering on the entire population of Gaza and violates international law

     

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora