Turkish gov't denies reports of $167-mln arms deal with Israel
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Hurriyet DN Online with wires
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Turkey's defense minister denied on Tuesday reports that an arms deal was signed with Israel ahead of the Gaza operation.
"The arms deal has nothing to do with the attacks. No military agreement was signed (with Israel) during our governments. The agreement in question was signed many (years) ago. Its contents are not related with the recent political developments," Vecdi Gonul told the Dogan News Agency in Izmir.
The Turkish government came under fire after some media reports suggested a $167 million arms deal was signed with Israel ahead of the Gaza operations. Turkey has maintained one of the harshest rhetoric against Israel over its incursion in Gaza.
Turkey and Israel have a strong partnership in military equipment and arms. The trade volume between Turkey and Israel was $2.6 billion in 2007 and some suggest $1.8 billion is attributed to military equipment trade.