FM Davutoglu: ”The AK Party shouldn't be blamed for the Israel crisis”
No government or political party in Turkey would have tolerated another country's attack on its civilian citizens, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reiterated yesterday in Rome, criticizing those who blame Turkey's government for the deterioration of bilateral relations with Israel. "Turkey is seeking justice," Davutoglu said at a breakfast meeting with a group of Italian and Turkish journalists before participating in the seventh Turkish-Italian Dialogue Forum. Asked about Turkish-Israeli relations in the aftermath of Israeli naval forces' May 31 attack on a Turkish ship in an aid flotilla, Davutoglu criticized both US and European media for "one-sided" reporting on the incident. "Turkey and Israel have a special relationship, and there's not a single case of anti-Semitism in Turkish history. Turkish Jews are a genuine part of our society," he said. "Some say that the pro-Islamic AK Party [Justice and Development Party] has caused a deterioration in relations with Israel," he added. "However, in the past 50 years, the most dynamic era in relations between Turkey and Israel has been seen during this government." As proof of that dynamism, Davutoglu cited Ankara's efforts for rapprochement between Pakistan and Israel and Turkish-led indirect talks between Israel and Syria. Israel's attempt to justify the actions of their forces is understandable to a certain extent, he said. "But how can some EU nations vote against endorsing a report by the UN fact-finding mission on the issue?" he continued. "If this attack had been launched by another country – I won't mention any names – it would have already been subject to sanctions."