ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will continue to meet with Palestinian group Hamas in its efforts to promote a long-lasting peace in the region, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday, adding the meetings were not an obstacle in the normalization of ties with Israel.

Turkey and Israel have said they are close to patching up a six-year-old political rift caused when Israeli commandoes killed 10 Turkish activists while storming the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a convoy seeking to break an Israeli naval blockade of the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Turkey has demanded Israel apologize, pay compensation and lift the Gaza blockade. For Israel, limiting Hamas activity in Turkey has been key.

(This version of the story corrects the second paragraph to show that the political rift is six years old, not five)

(Reporting by Gulsen Solaker and Ece Toksabay; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Humeyra Pamuk)