Video-Erdogan: Turkey to normalize relations with Israel “within days”


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he is prepared to normalize ties with Israeli regime within days or weeks after Tel Aviv accepted to pay compensation for the deadly raid in 2010.

According to Al-Akhbar news agency, Erdogan, speaking on US broadcaster PBS late Monday, said US President Barack Obama was instrumental in arranging a phone call between the heads of theZionist regime and Turkey, once intimate allies, but who have been at odds since a 2010 Israeli assault on a Gaza-bound flotilla of aid ships in which soldiers shot dead nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists.

Officials said the two governments in recent weeks have been narrowing the gap between them by overcoming sticking points including the amount of compensation to be paid to Turkey.

Erdogan said the issue has been resolved.

He told PBS through a translator, “We have come to an agreement… with respect to compensation,” adding, “And with respect to sending humanitarian aid to the people in Palestine through Turkey is the other step of the negotiations, and with the completion of that phase we can move towards a process of normalization.”

Erdogan added, “I think we’re talking about days, weeks.”

Erdogan said the first step “would no doubt be taken by the sending of ambassadors.”

The May 2010 Israeli assault on the Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara in international waters en route to Gaza sparked widespread condemnation and provoked a major diplomatic crisis between the two sides.