"They have taken steps to try to prevent any sense of triumphalism," Kerry said at a press conference on Sunday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. "It has not come from the government. In fact, there has been limited response by the government itself and I think it's important for everybody to take note of that."
"What country is he talking about?" one Israeli official responded. "I'm afraid the State Department did not show the secretary of state the press reports from Turkey following the apology."
The official said those reports were full of interviews and statements by both Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Davutoglu and other government ministers gloating over the apology, which was for operational errors committed that may have led to a loss of life on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010. Nine Turks were killed when Israel Navy commandos, trying to keep the ship from breaking the blockade of the Gaza Strip, were attacked by those on board.
The Israeli perception that Erdogan was indeed rubbing Jerusalem's nose in the apology led Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of the seven-person security cabinet, to write on his Facebook page five days after the apology that "it seems that since the apology, Erdogan is doing everything to make Israel regret it. He is running a personal and vitriolic campaign at the expense of Israeli- Turkish relations."
Soon after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's apology to Erdogan in a phone call brokered by US President Barack Obama during his visit here, Erdogan, according to the Anadolu news agency, told supporters Israel may have mistakenly thought the Mavi Marmara incident would be forgotten.
But this time, he was quoted as saying, "the Israelis met with a different understanding and structure. The AK Party government did not remain silent against this illegality, aggressiveness and massacre."
He went on to add, "The Israeli apology was important in remembering the martyrs of Turkey and those of Palestine."
Billboards sponsored by the Ankara Municipality appeared within a day of the apology, reading, "Israel apologized to Turkey. Dear prime minister, we are grateful that you let our country experience this pride."'