DEBKAfile: Erdogan’s call for normal ties with Israel marks gas talks start

The region would have much to gain from the normalization of Turkish-Israeli relations,” President Tayyip Erdogan said Monday. DEBKAfile: Turkey and Israeli have quietly launched talks for the purchase of Israeli gas. Edrogan now favors the warming of ties with Israel in view of Turkey’s urgent bid for Israeli gas, which was highlighted in a long article published on Dec. 8 by the Turkish Daily Sabah, This article revealed that the incoming Mossad chief Yossi Cohen was deeply engaged in negotiations with Ankara for a deal.

This sensitive process has not been revealed to the Israeli public, because local media are dominated by opposition politicians’ claims that Israel’s offshore gas resources have no foreign customers. In his comment Monday, Erdogan tried stipulating that normalization with Israel was contingent on “a compensation deal for the victims of the Israeli raid on the Turkish Mavi Marmora” and “the lifting of the Israeli blockade against Palestinians.”

However a deal over the Turkish flotilla raid was settled quietly long ago and Ankara, moreover, tacitly accepted the blockade on Gaza after a few Israeli token concessions.

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