Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said Turkey does not have a problem with the people of Israel, but rather that the problems with Israel stem from the policies that are employed by its government, according to a report by the Turkish daily Hurriyet published Sunday.
“I have learned that [Turkish] Jews are praying for me in their synagogues every Saturday. All of them are our citizens. Our problem is not with the people of Israel, but with the policies pursued by the government of Israel,” Gül said, in remarks that were published Sunday in another publication, Milliyet.
Gul was responding to questions from journalists traveling from Turkmenistan, Hurriyet reported.
Tensions between Israel and Turkey rose in the wake of the IDF raid on the Turkish Mavi Mamara ship trying to break the Gaza blockade, during which nine Turks were killed on May 31.
However Turkish officials have reiterated that they are committed to maintaining friendly ties with Israel despite ongoing diplomatic tensions between the two countries.