John Kerry Urges Israel and Turkey To Normalize Ties

Act Could Help Stabilize the Region, Says Kerry

John Kerry meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.
Getty
John Kerry meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

By Reuters

Published April 07, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Despite Obama’s having pulled off a diplomatic coup - a three-way telephone call with the Israeli and Turkish prime ministers, who had not spoken since 2011, some officials in Washington are worried Turkey might be backtracking on the deal.

Hours after the Israeli apology, large billboard posters sanctioned by Turkey’s ruling party mayor, appeared in the Turkish capital showing a glum-looking Netanyahu next to a glowing picture of Erdogan, suggesting some in Ankara were taking a triumphalist tone.

Erdogan then told a rally broadcast live on television that the apology signalled Turkey’s growing regional clout.

But Kerry said Turkey had responded “sensitively” and “thoughtfully” to the apology. “They have taken steps to try to prevent any sense of triumphalism. It has not come from the government. In fact, there has been limited response by the government itself and I think it’s important for everybody to take note of that,” Kerry said.

REFUGEE CHALLENGE

Both Kerry and Davutoglu said they had discussed the two-year-old civil war in Syria, including the shared goal for a peaceful transition there. They said a meeting of a core group of the Friends of Syria would take place soon.

One of the underlying motivations for the Israeli-Turkish rapprochement, at least on the Israeli side, has been a desire to secure allies in the region as Syria’s conflict next door churns into its third year.

A senior U.S. official told reporters with Kerry that during the visit to Istanbul the secretary of state would also reiterate “the importance of keeping the borders open to Syrians fleeing from violence”.

The official said this was a reference to reports, which Turkey denied on March 28, that it had rounded up and deported hundreds of Syrian refugees following unrest at a border camp.

Witnesses said hundreds of Syrians were bussed to the border after clashes in which refugees in the Suleymansah camp, near the Turkish town of Akcakale, threw rocks at military police, who fired teargas and water cannon.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said 130 people, identified as being “involved in the provocations,” crossed back into Syria voluntarily, either because they did not want to face judicial proceedings or because of repercussions from other refugees.

The incident highlighted the strain that the exodus from Syria’s war is placing on neighbouring states.

Since the outset of the Syrian conflagration, more than 1.2 million Syrians fleeing violence and persecution have registered as refugees or have awaited processing in neighboring countries and North Africa, according to U.N. figures.

They include 261,635 in Turkey, mostly staying in 17 camps, many of them teeming.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.