Erdogan approves reconciliation deal with Israel

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday approved a reconciliation agreement signed with Israel in June that has brought to an end a six-year rift between the two countries, CNN Türk has reported.

The agreement was approved by the Turkish Parliament on Aug. 20.
The ties between Turkey and Israel had been tense since 2010, when the Israeli navy killed nine Turkish and one Turkish-American pro-Palestinian activists who were on board the Gaza Freedom Flotilla heading to Gaza to deliver aid.

The Israeli raid took place in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The ships of the Free Gaza Movement and Turkish charity Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH) were carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials to the blockaded Gaza Strip.

According to the agreement, only one of Turkey’s three conditions to fix relations with Israel is to be fulfilled. Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the Gaza flotilla raid, meeting one of the conditions, the two remaining ones — lifting the Gaza blockade and paying compensation for the incident in 2010 — reportedly will not be fulfilled in the way that Turkey demands.

Although lifting the Gaza blockade is not a part of the deal, it has reportedly been agreed that humanitarian aid to Gaza will be delivered if the Israeli government approves it after inspecting it in the Port of Ashdod.

The İHH reacted against the agreement in a series of tweets on Sunday, emphasizing that the blockade of Gaza has to be lifted as it is unlawful and a crime against humanity.

President Erdoğan targeted the IHH after they harshly criticized the recent normalization deal with Israel and said, “Did you even ask the prime minister of the time [himself] before setting sail to send humanitarian aid from Turkey [to Gaza]?”

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