Turkey and Israel's friendship rooted in history - President Gul
Turkey's president expressed on Friday Turkey's expectation from Israel to take necessary steps regarding Israeli naval forces attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Anadolu Agency reported.
President Abdullah Gul said Turkey could not behave as if nothing had happened last May.
"We expect Israel to take necessary steps", Gul said during a meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
Nine people, including eight Turkish and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent, were killed when Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31. Around 30 people were wounded in the attack.
Gul defined a report of the United Nations (UN) Human Right Council regarding the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla as a strong and legal framework.
"We also expect the inquiry commission to complete its investigation successfully," Gul said.
The UN Human Rights Council set up the international fact-finding mission on June 2 to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance.
Gul said Turkey and Israel's friendship was rooted in history.
On Iran's nuclear program controversy, Turkey wanted settlement of the problem through diplomatic means and defined the Tehran Declaration as a step that could help a peaceful solution.
Under the agreement signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motaki and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim in Tehran on May 17, Iran committed to give 1,200kg of 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 20% enriched uranium it will receive from Western countries to be used as fuel in the nuclear research reactor in Tehran.
Tehran will receive the enriched uranium from the Vienna Group, comprising of the United States, France, Russia and IAEA, in Turkey.
Gul said Turkey did not want nuclear weapons in its region, and Turkey's aim was to give a chance to diplomacy and keep diplomatic channels open.
Diplomacy and negotiations could pave the way for a permanent solution much more than harsh sanctions, he said.
Gul said Turkey would always be there for a diplomatic solution.
"If there are nuclear weapons in our region, it is more dangerous for Turkey than it is for the United States," he said.
Gul also underlined importance of Turkish-U.S. cooperation in solution of problems in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan, and said Turkey wanted lasting peace in the region.