Time for Turkey?

Recent media reports suggest the rift between Israel and Turkey is on the way to being mended.

Israel Hayom has this:

Turkey says agreement with Israel not finalized yet

“We are working on a draft. There is no doubt that the Israeli state and its people are friends of Turkey. The criticism we have made so far has been about Israel’s extreme behaviors that we don’t deem as legitimate,” says ruling party spokesman.

A spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said on Sunday that a deal to normalize relations with Israel, including the return of ambassadors to both countries, has not been finalized yet.

Speaking at news conference in the capital Ankara, AKP spokesman Omer Celik said both sides were working on a draft document to reach a final deal.

According to the report:

Israel and Turkey have reached a preliminary agreement to normalize relations, including the return of ambassadors to both countries, officials from both countries said earlier this week.

So far, so good.

“Turkey has three precise conditions for normalizing ties: an apology, compensation and the lifting of an embargo on Gaza,” Celik said.

“Our first condition is fulfilled, but the remaining two have not been met yet. Therefore, our people should know we have no doubt that this draft will be shaped within these parameters.

“A deal has not been signed yet. Talks will continue until an agreement is finalized. During this period, we will observe whether these three conditions are met or not. This will be our requirement.”

As proof that I would have been a poor diplomat, I don’t agree with the need to apologize. It seems to me that Turkey is the one that should be apologizing, for joining in the incitement against Israel. And, I would be telling them to take their compensation claim to a place where the sun doesn’t shine.

But the real puzzler for me is this:

“…the lifting of an embargo on Gaza…”

Israel cannot agree to this – not as matters stand. Perhaps it depends how you define embargo. Perhaps what Israel has in mind is putting Fatah forces in charge on the other side. Perhaps this is all empty talk. But, if Turkey is truly going to insist on an end to the embargo, there surely cannot be any hope for restoring diplomatic relations with Turkey.