Erdogan: Israel must pay the price

Turkish PM meets Assad, demands UN investigation of flotilla raid.

311_erdogan and assad (photo credit: Associated Press)
311_erdogan and assad
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Israel must be me held to account for its action during the raid on the Mavi Marmara last week, demanded Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.
"We believe that those responsible should not be left without paying the price," Erdogan said during a press conference with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Istanbul.  He also asked the UN to investigate "the unlawful incident in a very transparent and firm manner."
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Turkey's foreign minister on also called on Monday for  Israel to accept an international-led inquiry into the commando boarding of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine pro-Palestinian activists.
Ahmet Davutoglu said Israel should declare it agrees to the probe proposed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He said: "Otherwise, it means that they have something to hide."
"The international community is facing a serious test. Does a country have the right to intercept a ship in international waters or not?" Davutoglu said at a news conference with the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They spoke on the sidelines of a summit of a 20-nation security group.
Turkey, which had a solid alliance with Israel until the three-week Gaza war that ended in early 2009, said it would reduce military and trade ties and shelved discussions of energy projects, including natural gas and fresh water shipments. It threatened to break ties unless Israel apologizes for the raid last week.
"We are evaluating everything. It is up to Israel how our ties will continue," Davutoglu said. "Israel has to accept the consequences of its actions and be held accountable."
Davutoglu said "normalization of Turkish-Israeli relations was out of the question," unless Israel conforms to international law. He said Turkey would pursue accountability in the killing of the eight Turks and one dual US-Turkish citizen, until the end.