Turkish president: We never hassled Israelis at airport

Gül tells Al-Arabiya UN-backed Palmer report on 'Mavi Marmara' incident wrong, Turkey to head to Int'l Criminal Court over Gaza blockade.

September 8, 2011 15:31
1 minute read.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul

abdullah gul 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Turkish President Abdullah Gül said Thursday that Turkey never harassed Israeli tourists at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport, despite reports that some 40 passengers were singled out and underwent more stringent security procedures than other travelers.

Gül said that the deterioration of ties between Ankara and Jerusalem was not being directed towards "individuals."

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Speaking to pan-Arab Al-Arabiya, Gül restated Turkish plans to head to the International Criminal Court to determine the legality of the blockade on the Gaza Strip adding that Ankara rejected the UN-backed Palmer report which legitimized the IDF blockade.

Turning to Syria,
Gül said that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's visit to Damascus last month was a "last chance" for Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been fighting anti-government protesters since March of this year.

Gül denied that Turkey has no hidden agenda in the Syrian protests, and condemned the recent deaths of 20 anti-regime activists in Homs.

The Turkish president said that Turkey has been a role model in the so-called Arab Spring revolutions.

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