The 'Mavi Marmara' 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters/Emrah Dalkaya)
A battle of words between Turkey’s ruling and opposition parties over Israel
appears to be intensifying every day, with each party accusing the other of
spoiling ties with the Jewish state.
“We should all avoid acts that would
weaken our position with regard to the ongoing inquiry at the United Nations
about the Mavi Marmara incident,” Foreign Minister Davutoglu told CNNTürk in an
interview on Monday.
Davutoglu’s remarks came as a reaction to Kemal
Kılıçdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, who has been
questioning the government’s role in last year’s Mavi Marmara incident, in which
Turkish citizens died taking part in the flotilla to Gaza.
harshly slammed the government for sending hundreds of activists to Gaza without
considering the consequences and hinted it was behind the
“Questions Mr. Kılıçdaroglu are posing are the same as
Israel’s. This is very thought-provoking,” Davutoglu said.
these questions as a tool to the domestic politics is wrong and they should not
be done by the main opposition party.”
Recalling that Turkey was in a
legal struggle with Israel to secure the rights of “murdered” Turkish citizens
while trying to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza, Davutoglu said he wanted to see
all political parties back this struggle.
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continued his criticism in Mersin and Silifke. Saying that an investigation into
the Mavi Marmara incident was stopped by order of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, Kılıçdaroglu hinted it was to cover up the government’s
“A criminal complaint was filed about this. The Justice Ministry
has to give permission to launch an investigation.
Why was this
permission not given? Did you give or not give this permission?” he
The Justice Ministry denied Kılıçdaroglu’s allegations on the
failure to open a probe of the Mavi Marmara incident. “To start a legal action,
it’s necessary to see the completion of an ongoing prosecution held by the chief
prosecutor,” it said in a written statement. The probe is still ongoing in
Turkish leaders, including Erdogan, have blamed Israel and its
supporters for what they say is international media hostility to the country’s
“This international media, as they are supported by Israel,
would not be happy with the continuation of the AKP government,” the Turkish
Daily News quoted Erdogan as saying this week. “Of course, they have their hands
on Turkey nowadays.”
Erdogan was responding to The Economist’s
endorsement of the opposition party ahead of next week’s elections.
British newsweekly cited Erdogan’s crackdown on the media among other reasons to
push back against what it said were his repressive measures.
minister, Egemen Bagıs, described “international dark elites who control the
international media.”JTA contributed to this report.
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