Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that he will not participate in the Climate Conference in Athens if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attends it. In an interview with a TV station in Greece, Erdogan said that Israel is about to lose an “important and close friend” in the region.
Israel and Turkey had strong ties and mutual military drills in addition to strategic relations.

The relations between the two countries witnessed a sharp deterioration after the deadly attack by Israel on the Mavi Marmara ship. The ship was part of the Freedom Flotilla that was heading to Gaza to break the Israeli siege and deliver humanities supplies.

The Israeli navy boarded the ship while it was in international waters, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring dozens of others.

The attack took place at dawn on May 31, 2010. Dozens of peace activists were wounded and the navy, carrying hundreds of activists, towed the ship to Ashdod Port. The activists were later expelled from Israel.

The Freedom Flotilla, included three cargo ships and three passenger ships and was trying to draw attention to Israel’s illegal siege on the Gaza Strip. The ships were carrying humanitarian items such as electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes, water purifiers and medical supplies.