UNSC holds urgent meeting on flotilla

Turkey requests emergency UN session, calls Israel's acts "piracy."

By JPOST.COM STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 31, 2010 18:14
2 minute read.
unsc 298.88

unsc 298.88. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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At the request of Turkey, the United Nations Security Council will be holding an emergency session on Monday evening to discuss today's incident in which members of an international aid flotilla en-route to Gaza were killed.

Turkey holds a temporary rotating seat on the Security Council.

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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 regarding 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." He also said a Turkish youth soccer team currently in Israel would be brought home.

Istanbul: Protesters demonstrate against IDF raid

Turkish police blocked dozens of stone-throwing protesters who tried to storm the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul after the IDF flotilla raid was reported.


CNN-Turk and NTV showed dozens of angry protesters scuffling with Turkish police guarding the consulate in downtown Istanbul.

"Damn Israel," the protesters shouted.

Protesters later staged a more peaceful demonstration outside the consulate, holding up Palestinian flags and listening to readings from the Koran.

Activists also started to gather outside the Israeli ambassador's residence in the Turkish capital.

Two TV networks reported earlier that Israeli warships attacked the six ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid for blockaded Gaza, killing at least two and wounding an unknown number of people on board.

"We were not expecting such an operation in international waters," Omer Faruk Korkmaz, an official of the pro-Islamic aid group, IHH, that led the aid shipment said in Turkey. "Israel has been caught redhanded and the international community will not forgive it."

Ex-Israeli envoy to Turkey: 'Use diplomatic relations'

Alon Liel, a former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, urged the Israeli government to work together with the Turkish government to resolve the fate of the flotilla. He suggested that, rather than bringing the vessels into Ashdod, Israel should ask Turkey to send escort boats to accompany them back to Turkey. “We have diplomatic relations with Turkey,” said Liel. “Let’s utilize them.”

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