Similar appeals have been made to France, whose Pleiades
satellite will soon sell images with a 0.7 metre (2 foot) grain.
France, along with Italy, has a subsidiary role in GokTurk,
which experts say may provide pictures of even higher resolution.
But Turkey, whose Islamist-rooted government froze relations
with Israel after its deadly raid on a Gaza aid ship last year,
has shown no interest in veiling the Jewish state from GokTurk.
“We decide how to use the images taken by our satellite,” an
unnamed Turkish official told the newspaper Today’s Zaman.
The dispute is not new. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak
tried to sell the Turks an Ofek spy satellite in 2008. But those
talks collapsed, with Barak aides blaming Ankara’s refusal to
accept a “shutter control” clause in the contract.
The Israeli official said such measures helped prevent
“sensitive material falling into the hands of terrorists”.
Israel also frets about its nuclear facilities and other
secretive projects becoming too open to public scrutiny.