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Turkish - Israeli Relations - by Stephen Lendman
In May 2010, Israel's Gaza Freedom Flotilla Mavi Marmara mother ship attack, killing nine Turkish citizens, stoked tensions between the two countries.
At the time, Turkey warned it might sever diplomatic relations unless Israel apologized, consented to an independent international investigation, and ended its Gaza siege.
Israel, however, refused and stonewalled. Frayed ties followed. In fact, they began deteriorating earlier in the new millennium despite years of closer military, economic, political, technological, cultural, academic, and practical relations.
The 1993 Oslo Accords, in fact, facilitated them based on (false) notions that Israel sought peace. Even so, relations were less than entirely cordial. Underlying tensions persisted that grew as peace proved illusive, Israel choosing confrontation that erupted during the September 2000 Al-Aqsa (second) Intifada.
At the time, then Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit criticized Israel harshly. The 2003 Iraq war also caused friction, positioning both countries on separate sides. Israel favored eliminating a regional rival. Turkey wanted the status quo, opposing Iraq's partitioning and establishment of a de facto Kurdistan on its border.
Israel's preemptive 2006 Lebanon war caused more tensions. So did Cast Lead from December 27, 2008 - January 18, 2009, inflicting mass casualties and destruction. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, in fact, accused Israel of war crimes, including using illegal terror weapons like white phosphorous, saying:
"No one can claim that phosphorous shells are not weapons of mass destruction," exaggerating to make a point.
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