"Maariv" correspondent Ben Caspit reports this morning that in closed discussions by the inner cabinet of eight senior ministers, the opinion was voiced that Turkey is deliberately attempting to deepen the crisis with Israel, in order to enhance its status as a regional Islamic power, and its strategy is to break off diplomatic relations with Israel.
The claim was voiced by those senior ministers who are opposed to apologizing to Turkey over the Marmara flotilla incident in May 2010. According to these ministers, the crisis began in 2008 when Ehud Olmert was prime minister and he visited Ankara. Olmert told the Turks that he planned opening direct talks with Syria's President Hafez el-Assad but on returning to Israel he launched Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and this infuriated the Turks.
Since then, these senior cabinet ministers claim, Ankara has done everything in its power to distance itself from Israel while attempting to consolidate its status as a regional power in the Middle East.
On the other hand, there were those in the inner-cabinet discussions who spoke out in favor of apologizing to Turkey. These cabinet ministers who support an apology say there is no point in playing games and standing on dignity when it is possible that an apology could restore Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an ally - an important step ahead of the expected unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinians.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 6, 2011
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