(photo credit: Associated Press)
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may personally try to break the Gaza
blockade by sailing there, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Mustaqbal reported on Saturday.
paper said the report was based on Turkish sources “in the know.”
Israel may allow future aid ships into Gaza after inspection
Flotilla activists: Go back to Auschwitz
to media reports, Erdogan may also consider sending Turkish Navy
vessels to accompany future protest ships that head to Gaza.
To protest against Monday’s Israel
Navy raid, Turkey has recalled its
ambassador from Israel for consultations and spoken of reducing
economic and military ties. It has rejected Israel’s explanation that
its soldiers acted in self-defense after activists attacked them with
clubs and metal bars.
Namik Tan, Turkey’s ambassador to the US, wrote in an article for The Washington Post
that the incident enraged his country because “this was not an attack
by a sworn enemy but by a friend with which Turkey has worked long and
hard to develop constructive strategic and economic collaboration.”
He added that “this was the first such attack against civilian Turkish
citizens by a foreign military force in our republic’s 87-year history.
“It will be up to Israel to decide how it reconstitutes its standing as
a good bilateral partner and responsible member of the international
community,” Tan wrote.
"Israel owes an apology to the Turkish Nation"
In the article, he reiterated what Turkey has said to Israel through
the week: that to restore the relationship between the countries,
Israel “can start by bringing an end to its blockade on Gaza.”
He added that further needed measures included “ending [Israel’s]
inappropriate and disproportionate police actions toward the
Palestinian civilians of that land” and “allowing a prompt,
independent, impartial, credible and transparent international
investigation into the incident.
“Moreover, Israel owes an apology to the Turkish nation,” Tan wrote.
He told reporters in Washington that “Israel cannot find any better
friend in the region than Turkey. And Israel is about to lose that
Turkey wants the upcoming summit for a 20-member security group for the
Asian region to condemn Monday’s raid on the flotilla of six Gaza-bound
A Turkish government official said the deadly raid would be discussed
during the June 7-8 Conference on Interactions and Confidence-Building
Measures in Asia.
He said Israel had yet to say if it would attend next week’s
conference, where the prime minister of Russia and presidents of Iran,
Afghanistan and Syria are expected. Iraq and Vietnam are expected to be