Davutoglu: "Turkey's apology and compensation demands from Israel stand"
Days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled that his government regrets the Mavi Marmara incident this May, which left nine Turkish peace activists dead, but is unlikely to take further steps, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday said Turkey's demand from Israel for an apology and compensation to families of the victims remain unchanged. During a joint press conference with visiting Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Abdurrahman bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Davutoglu said, "Our expectations that Israel issue an apology and give compensation hold with the same determination as on May 31," the day the Mavi Marmara, the flagship of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, was raided by Israeli commandos in international waters. Turkey protects the rights of its citizens, Davutoglu stressed. In related news, speaking to official Syrian news agency SANA, Davutoglu dismissed claims from some in Europe and the US that Turkey has been trying to export "neo-Ottomanism" to the Middle East, saying that this concept has no place in Turkish foreign policy. Stating that the European Union fails to understand Turkey's approach to foreign relations, including pursuing better relations with its neighbors and eased visa regimes, Davutoglu blamed this failure for misplaced reactions to Turkey's stance on the Iranian nuclear issue and its voting against new UN sanctions on Tehran this summer.