Turkish govt debates to cancel Israeli military deals


New Member
Feb 16, 2009
The debate comes a week after Israel killed the nine Turkish Gaza aid activists, including a 19-year-old boy who held dual Turkish-U.S. citizenship, in international waters of the Mediterranean.
Monday, 07 June 2010 13:15
Turkish National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said Monday, in reference to a question on whether or not Turkey would cancel military agreements signed with Israel earlier, the agreements were under the responsibility of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), even if they were military agreements.

The debate comes a week after Israeli commandos killed the nine Turkish Gaza aid activists, including a 19-year-old boy who held dual Turkish-U.S. citizenship, in international waters of the Mediterranean.

Israeli companies have been among the main recepients of lucrative tenders to equip the Turkish army.

If the topic of Turkish-Israeli military agreements come to the Turkish government, we would debate on them. We have not yet received any request from the MFA on this issue, Gonul stressed.

Three military exercises that were planned with Israel have been cancelled, Gonul said.

"Something to hide"

Turkey's foreign minister on Monday called on Israel to accept an international probe into the deadly raid.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Israel should declare it agrees to the probe proposed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He said: "Otherwise, it means that they have something to hide."

However, Israel refused on Sunday a proposal by U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon for an international investigation into its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

The U.N. chief had suggested establishing a panel that would be headed by former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer and include representatives from Turkey, Israel and the United States, an Israeli official said earlier in Jerusalem.

"Debate on military deals"

The Turkish foreign minister said that the future of agreements with Israel depended on Israel's attitude.

Davutoglu said the future of bilateral agreements between Turkey and Israel was related with Israel's stance.

"If Israel gives green light to formation of an international committee and is ready to answer questions of the committee, Turkish-Israeli relations will have a different course. Otherwise, Turkish-Israeli relations cannot be normalized," Davutoglu told a press conference in Istanbul.

The Turkish minister defined the Israeli attack on aid flotilla as a problem between Israel and international community and international law, not a problem between Turkey and Israel.

The ship was also carrying activists from Britain, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium, Ireland and elsewhere.

Davutoglu said international community was facing a serious problem, and enumerated the prior question as if a country had the right to intervene in a civilian ship that was sailing in international waters.

The minister said United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon proposed to set up an international committee to deal with the issue, and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted that proposal.

"If Israel thinks it has protected its national interests and rights, it should declare that it accepts formation of an international committee. Otherwise, it means that they are hiding some facts," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu also said Turkey would never let any country to hurt Turkish citizens on purpose, and every one would have to face the consequences.

Ankara recalled its ambassador from Israel and scrapped plans for three joint military exercises.

Turkey's Ambassador to Israel Oguz Celikkol arrived in Turkey on June 3 after Turkey had called him back due to the raid of Israeli navy forces on a convoy of aid ships of Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.

Turkey would reduce economic and defence ties with Israel, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc had said last Friday.

Ankara would reduce relations in these fields to a minimum level, taking into account whether (cooperation) already exists... whether payments have been made or not, Arinc said.

Gonul's remarks came while receiving Mali's Defense Minister Natie Plea in Ankara on Monday.

"First high level visit from Mali"

Speaking to reporters while receiving Plea, Minister Gonul said that Plea's visit was the first high level visit to Turkey from Mali.

Mali is a country with deep cultural roots in Africa. It is a big and rich country. Turkey and Mali share historical relations, Gonul said.

Turkey opened her first embassy in Mali in February of 2010. The two countries, in 2000, signed a defense framework agreement, Gonul stressed.

Minister Plea's visit to Turkey will contribute to good relations between our two ministries, Gonul underlined.

Plea, in his part, said that he was pleased to be in Turkey.

I am here to boost our cooperation with Turkey, Plea said.

We are pleased with the hospitality displayed to us in Turkey. I thank you for extending a friendly hand, Plea said.


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