Parliament not to set up Turkish, Israeli friendship group in new term

Parliament will re-establish friendship groups with many countries in the new legislative year that will begin on October 1.

Parliament not to set up Turkish, Israeli friendship group in new term

Turkish parliament will not set up Turkish-Israeli Friendship Group in the new legislative year.

Parliament will re-establish friendship groups with many countries in the new legislative year that will begin on October 1.

However, it will not form a friendship group with Israel due to recent problems in Turkish-Israeli relations.

In the previous legislative year (23rd term), parliament had friendship groups with 105 countries.

Turkey set up its first friendship group with Israeli under the chairmanship of then True Path Party (DYP) lawmaker Cefi Kamhi in the 20th legislative term.

Then Democratic Left Party (DSP) MP Tarik Cengiz headed the 21st term Turkish-Israeli Friendship Group, and then Justice & Development (AK) Party deputy Vahit Kirisci presided the group in the 22nd term.

Then AK Party parliamentarian Nursuna Memecan chaired the group in the 23rd term.

However, members of the friendship group resigned after developments in Gaza in 2008.

"Parliamentarians have not applied to set up a friendship group with Israel this year, and we do not back it either," Mustafa Elitas, deputy chairman of AK Party group at parliament, said.

Moreover, Republican People's Party (CHP) group deputy chairman Akif Hamzacebi said, "CHP regards Turkey's interests, and we will do what we have to do in line with national interests of Turkey."

Also, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) group deputy chairman Mehmet Sandir said Israel had pursued enmity against Turkey, and therefore it was impossible for MHP to approve Israel's stance on Turkish nation.

Sandir also said Israel had not apologized to Turkey for killing nine people on an attack on Gaza-bound aid flotilla, and therefore Turkey or the Turkish parliament did not have any obligation to show friendly ties against Israel's such enmity.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos raided a humanitarian aid flotilla heading for Gaza, killing nine Turkish nationals one of whom was a U.S. citizen. Turkey said after the attack that it expected Israel to make a formal apology, pay a certain compensation to the families of the victims and to end its blockade over Gaza.

The United Nations established an inquiry panel to examine the incident. The UN panel's long-awaited "Palmer Report" was handed over to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on September 2.

The report said Israel's interception of the vessels was "excessive and unreasonable," while the flotilla acted "recklessly" in attempting to breach the naval blockade. It also said the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza was imposed as a "legitimate security measure" to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea.

Recently, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu unveiled a series of decisions concerning Turkish-Israeli relations.

The decisions included downgrading Turkish-Israeli diplomatic ties to the level of a second-secretary, suspension of military agreements, measures pertaining to freedom of navigation in the Eastern Mediterranean and demanding a review of the Israeli blockade over Gaza by the International Court of Justice.

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Last Mod: 16 Eylül 2011, 13:03
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