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On May 31, we awoke to tragic news from international waters in the eastern Mediterranean. As we now know well, instead of the day ending with the delivery of humanitarian aid to ease the desperate lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, it began with the killing by Israel Defense Forces of nine peace activists and the wounding of about 30, all civilians.

The Free Gaza flotilla was not an initiative by the Turkish government. It was an international aid convoy made up of nationals of 32 countries taking food, toys, medical equipment and similar aid to the people of Gaza, who have been deprived of these basic commodities for years.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace algo más de una semana el presidente de la Autoridad Palestina, Mahmud Abbas, declaró que «los palestinos están secuestrados por Irán». Esta frase, más propia de un dirigente de la derecha israelí, reflejaba su amargura por el rechazo de Hamás, la versión palestina del grupo islamista Hermanos Musulmanes, a participar en las elecciones locales previstas para el mes de julio. Hamás no quiere legitimar con su participación unos comicios dirigidos a restablecer las instituciones palestinas, cara a una negociación con Israel avalada por un buen número de estados árabes. Bien al contrario, su plan pasa por capitalizar la actividad política al tiempo que arrincona unas instituciones que responden a una estrategia que les resulta ajena.…  Seguir leyendo »

I am the only Turkish politician who has visited Israel since Israel unleashed the Gaza War, and since the Davos incident between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan highlighted the differences between our countries.

I have many friends in Israel and I did not hesitate to visit Israel when an invitation was extended to me by an Israeli think-tank. I maintained my optimism that Turkey and Israel would be able to mend their differences despite their disagreements over the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

However, Monday was a turning point for me and my nation’s 72 million citizens.…  Seguir leyendo »