Ten thousand Turks marched in protest from the Israeli consulate to a main square on Monday afternoon, chanting, "Murderous Israel you will drown in the blood you shed!" The protesters had earlier tried to storm the consulate building but were blocked by police.
Earlier on Monday, Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan condemned the seizure of the Gaza flotilla ship, Mavi Marmara
as "state terrorism," saying that Israel had violated international law and shown that it does not want peace in the region.
The Mavi Marmara
was flying a Turkish flag and most of the activists
injured on board were Turkish members of the Islamic NGO IHH which
Israeli officials have said is linked to terrorist organizations.
IHH denies terror connection
The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, known by its Turkish acronym IHH, was established in 1995 during the Bosnia war, gradually expanding operations to more than 100 countries.
Some 400 of the 600 passengers on board the main ship carrying the activists were from Turkey, mostly members of IHH. Most of those killed were Turkish, officials said.
Israeli officials have said the charity is merely a front and that the group is has links to al-Qaida and Hamas.
IHH denies ties to radical groups. The group is not among some 45 groups listed as terrorists by the US State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism.Turkey calls for international condemnation of Israel
Erdogan said Turkey would call on NATO to convene in an emergency session
to discuss the incident. It has made a similar plea to the UN Security
"This attack is state terrorism, violating international law," Erdogan
said. "It should be known that we are not going to remain silent in the
face of this inhumane state terrorism."
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc called Israel's actions
"piracy" and said Turkey is withdrawing its ambassador on Monday as well
as canceling three joint military drills and calling on the UN Security
Council to convene in an emergency session about Israel. Turkey is
currently a member of the council. The Turks have not, however, broken
off diplomatic relations with Israel.
"I strongly condemn the use of force by Israeli military forces on an
aid convoy composed of 32 countries, including Turkey," Arinc said.
"This attack must not remain unanswered."