Turkey: UN probe no quick fix to restore ties with Israel
Turkey is giving a subdued welcome to Israel finally agreeing to participate in a UN probe of its deadly May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, suggesting that the move was primarily meant to improve ties with Turkey. The raid left nine Turkish peace activists dead. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called the UN probe "a step in the right direction." Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor expressed hope that this cooperation would help mend ties with Turkey, a longtime ally with whom relations have recently been strained. Meridor told Israeli Radio that the decision to cooperate "is primarily meant to my knowledge, for Turkey and Israel to find a way to bring relations back to a better place." After Foreign Minister Davutoglu told Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the decision, Erdogan reportedly brought up Ankara's additional demands for mending ties, specifically a formal apology and compensation for the victims' families. The UN probe panel will be chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and will include a Turkish and an Israeli representative.