Turkey's TUSIAD calls for apology from Israel over aid attack

TUSIAD said public excitement in Turkey over an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid convoy cannot cool down unless Israel made an apology.

Turkey's TUSIAD calls for apology from Israel over aid attack

Head of a Turkish business association said public excitement in Turkey over an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid convoy cannot cool down unless Israel made an apology, adding the incident showed that the inhumane blockade of Gaza cannot last anymore.

"International legal norms must be applied to those who are responsible for this attack and the investigation should be carried out on an international level. It is hard to settle the uproar in the Turkish public opinion without an Israeli apology," Umit Boyner, chairwoman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), told a conference at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C..

Boyner was in the United States for a series of talks. She met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Philip Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian affairs.

"However, these criticisms should not cause a total disruption of Turkey's relations with Israel," Boyner insisted.

Touching on Iran's nuclear program and the UN Security Council's resolution for sanctions on Tehran, Boyner said she had doubts whether the sanctions would be effective.

"Turkey has always supported nuclear disarmament. And Turkey should stay loyal to its strategic partners. But we also have the right to expect our partners to respect Turkey's concerns," Boyner said.

Boyner said Turkey would abide by the resolution over sanctions, however added that the UN Security Council resolution would not necessarily shut all doors to diplomacy.

The TUSIAD chief rejected allegations that Turkey's foreign policy orientation was shifting, adding that strengthening relations between Turkey and its neighbors to the East should be considered by Turkey's Transatlantic partners as an opportunity to boost dialogue.

"Difficult times"


Boyner said that Turkey-U.S. relations were passing through "difficult times" in the aftermath of a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza aid convoy and Turkey's refusal to back up a UN Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on Iran.

"The incident related to Gaza and Turkey's 'no' to the sanctions... these are all intermingled, which I think is a disadvantage for Turkey. We are having sensitive and difficult times in relations with the United States, and there are concerns. But I also have to say that there have been some serious misunderstandings and communication problems," Umit Boyner, chairwoman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), told reporters.

"We need a new era that would involve open dialogue with the U.S. because the U.S. is an old strategic partner for us. We cannot afford shaky relations. As much as the U.S. is important to us, we are important to them as well," Boyner said.

Boyner said her meeting with Clinton addressed developments regarding Iran and Israel, adding that she conveyed the uneasiness the Israeli raid and the killing of nine activists had created in the Turkish public opinion.

The TUSIAD chief said keeping diplomatic channels open had been the top priority for Turkey in the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, adding that she shared with Clinton her view that Turkey should play a role in resolving the problem.


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Last Mod: 18 Haziran 2010, 11:36
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