ANKARA (AFP) – Turkey said Monday that it wants to maintain ties with regional ally Israel and move beyond Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s recent dramatic outburst over the Gaza conflict.
“We give special importance to our bilateral ties with Israel and we want to preserve ties with that country,” Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek told reporters here after a cabinet meeting.
“We are now looking towards the future. Turkey is not targeting Israel and the Israeli people,” he said.
Erdogan on Thursday stormed out of a debate on the Gaza war at the World Economic Forum in Davos after a clash with Israeli President Shimon Peres, saying Israel committed “barbarian” acts in the Hamas-ruled territory.
Upon his return to Turkey, he defended his reaction, saying his anger was directed at “the practices of the Israeli government.”
Israeli officials have sought to defuse tensions, with >>>