Erdogan calls to punish Israel
With the death toll reaching 19, international condemnation against Israel continues for its deadly raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla with harsh statements from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “The bloody massacre Israel carried out against ships carrying aid to Gaza deserves condemnation,” Erdogan said Tuesday during a speech before the Turkish parliament in Ankara.
“The insolent, irresponsible and impudent attack by Israel, which went against law and trampled human honor underfoot, must definitely be punished,” he said to the applauding parliament. “Nobody should test Turkey's patience,” he added. Erdogan said the international flotilla was legal and that Turkey has taken immediate steps in retaliation to the Israeli operation that include canceling three joint military exercises with Israel, recalling the Turkish ambassador from Tel Aviv and returning a Turkish football players from Israel.
“Now Israel has shown to all the world how well it knows how to kill,” he said. “People were killed and badly wounded, some from shots, even when bound. How human is this? There is no other way of explaining this to the world. All states condemn it, but this is not enough, we need results. People around the world need to know that one day justice will be revealed. If Israel does not immediately free all the detainees and wounded, the rift in relations with it will widen.” “Don't think that we'll sit by in silence after such events,” he continued.
Separately, the Associated Press has reported that two ships have departed Europe for Gaza in yet another challenge to Israel’s Gaza blockade. According to CNN-IBN, Ankara has warned that the Turkish Navy will escort the vessels. If true, the consequences of a confrontations will be dire as Turkey is a NATO member.