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Ehud Barak says Turkey declined Israeli aid offer

Reuters

October 23, 2011 | 1:45 pm

Rescue workers work to save people trapped under debris after an earthquake in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van on Oct. 23. Photo by REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Rescue workers work to save people trapped under debris after an earthquake in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van on Oct. 23. Photo by REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday Ankara has declined aid offered by the Jewish state after an earthquake struck southeast Turkey.

“I am under the impression the Turks do not want our help,” Barak told Channel 2 News.

“Right now (their answer) is negative but if they see they need more aid and don’t have it, or if they rethink it, we have made the offer and remain prepared (to help),” he said.

Relations between Israel and Turkey, once close strategic allies, were frayed by a 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in which nine Turks were killed.

Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Louise Ireland

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