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Israel and Turkey work to improve relations

This New York Times article examines recent efforts between the Israeli and Turkish governments to better the relationship between the two states.  The two share numerous common interests, however several incidents of the past several years involving Gaza, most notably the deaths of 9 Turks on an aid flotilla, have strained relations. 

Mr. Erdogan has said publicly that Turkey would not return its ambassador to Israel until Turkey received compensation for the families of the dead and an apology. He has also spoken of the need to end Israel’s embargo of Gaza but has not consistently made that a condition of improved ties.

Israeli officials say they wish to restore relations with Turkey and are willing to pay compensation and express sorrow over what happened, but they have two concerns. They want it spelled out that the commandos who boarded the flotilla were acting in self-defense. And they want whatever deal emerges to end the United Nations inquiry and other international legal actions toward Israel stemming from the Mavi Marmara takeover.

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