Gul: ”Turkey told Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel”
When Hamas leaders visited Turkey in 2006, Ankara told them to "act democratically" and stop the "nonsense" of firing rockets into Israel, President Abdullah Gul said yesterday. Speaking to Fareed Zakaria on CNN international, Gul said that despite the recent downturn in bilateral relations, over the years Turkey has helped Israel a great deal. Relations, already damaged by Israel's 2009 Gaza offensive, reached a new low after Israel's May 31 raid on a Gaza aid flotilla that left nine Turkish peace activists dead. A rumored meeting between Gul and Israeli President Shimon Peres in New York on the sidelines of this month's UN General Assembly failed to take place, with Peres claiming Gul demanded an apology for the raid as a precondition. On CNN, Gul called this claim exaggerated. Gul also stated that Israel and Turkey aren't enemies but added, "We have a right to criticize their policies."