Turkey withdrwas from military execise with Israel
Following the Israeli government's refusal to officially apologize to Turkey for its deadly aid flotilla raid on May 31, leaving nine Turkish peace activists dead, Turkey has officially announced its withdrawal from a joint military drill set to be conducted with the US and Israeli navies in the Mediterranean next month. Turkey's withdrawal decision was conveyed by an official Defense Ministry letter to the Israeli side over the weekend. Turkey has laid down three conditions for normalizing strained relations with Israel due to its flotilla raid and thus avoid a complete break in bilateral ties. An official apology from the Israeli government is one of the conditions, along with Israel paying compensations to the families of the raid victims, and agreeing to the establishment of an international commission to probe the incident. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently warned further deterioration and even a complete break in ties with Israel if it continues to refuse to meet Turkey's demands regarding the incident.