World Bulletin / News Desk
In remarks made in a column that appeared in the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper Saturday, Kalin said the thaw in ties with Israel and Russia would have “significant consequences” for Ankara’s foreign policy and regional peace and stability.
He said the recent steps had “the potential to help with the two protracted problems of Palestine and Syria as well as the fight against ISIL and PKK extremism.”
Ankara struck a deal with Tel Aviv government last week after a six-year hiatus over the latter’s storming a Gaza-bound aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, in international waters in May 2010 and killing 10 Turkish activists.
The agreement, according to Kalin, opens a new era between the two countries on two important areas: Turkish-Israeli relations and the situation in Gaza.
He said two countries would exchange ambassadors and restart economic and touristic relations.
The deal also paved the way for Ankara to send an aid ship carrying 11,000 tons of supplies for the people living in the Gaza Strip. The ship arrived at Israel’s Ashdod port Sunday.
Kalin said Turkey would continue to support the right of Palestinians to seek an independent state and end the Israeli occupation.
“Turkey will continue to have relations with all Palestinian groups and help all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. By normalizing relations with Israel, Turkey will also have a higher chance to contribute to the peace process and prevent unnecessary tensions and loss of life.
“This holds true for the highly critical and sensitive situation in and around Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem,” he said.
Turkey and Russia also restored ties last week after falling out over the shooting down last November of a Russian warplane that had violated Turkish airspace at the Syrian border.
Kalin said the key outcome of the new era between Turkish-Russia relations would be about “the future of the Syrian war and the fight against extremism.”
He said Turkey’s position on the Syrian war and the future of Bashar al-Assad was well-known.
“A renewed effort between Turkey and Russia will have the potential to contain the situation in Syria. This will also help Turkey fight more effectively against ISIL extremism coming from the Syrian lands,” he said.