A close associate of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that "an apology to Turkey is like surrendering to terror," adding that Ankara should compensate Israel over the flotilla incident and not vice versa.
The remark was made in response to statements made earlier by Israeli officials that the aid offered by Turkey as part of the firefighting efforts in the Carmel opened the door for improvement of relations with Ankara.
According to the minister's close associates, from Lieberman's perspective an Israeli apology is out of the question.
"If anyone needs to apologize it's Turkey and it should pay compensation for the aid offered to terrorists and the IHH, which some European countries including Germany, consider as a terror organization," one source said.
On Monday, Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and Yosef Ciechanover, the Israeli representative to the UN committee probing Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla met for the second time in two days in a bid to revive bilateral ties, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.
A Turkish diplomatic source told the newspaper, "If someone extends us a friendly hand for a solution to problems, we do not leave that hand in the air."
However, earlier Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear that Turkey’s decision to send two firefighting planes to Israel to assist in battling the Carmel blaze does not attest to improved ties with the Jewish state.
This step must not be confused with other problems we have with Israel,” the Turkish PM said, repeating his regular list of demands, uttered often in the wake of the Gaza-bound flotilla affair.
“Our demands of them are known by now,” he said. “The ties between us will not improve until they officially apologize and compensate us.”
Apology to Erdogan? Not anytime!