Turkey PM Won't Cross Into Gaza During Egypt Trip

A visit to Gaza was considered by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, then postponed in July in the hope that Israel would agree to apologize for the flotilla raid that killed Turkish activists.

Turkey's foreign minister says the prime minister will not cross the border into the Gaza Strip during his trip to Egypt, but warns that Israel faces "growing isolation" in the region.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will visit Egypt Monday, will also travel to Tunisia and Libya, but will limit his itinerary to those destinations.

Erdogan - AP - 21072011

Israel has had strained relations recently with both Turkey and Egypt, where rioters ransacked the Israeli embassy late Sunday night. A visit to Gaza by Erdogan could spike tensions following Israel's refusal to accede to Turkey’s demand that it apologize for its raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists last year.

Israel has said that it "will act to lower the flames" and try to mend relations with Turkey.

In July, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported that Erdogan had postponed a planned trip to the Gaza Strip due to the possibility that Israel would apologize for the flotilla raid. It was surmised that Erdogan was using a Gaza visit as a bargaining chip to pressure Israel to agree apologize for the killing of the flotilla activists.