Tags: Gaza | Ships | Protest

Turkey Withdraws Ambassador to Israel Over Deaths

Monday, 31 May 2010 07:40 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel and canceled three joint military drills on Monday after Israeli commandos killed at least 10 people and wounded dozens aboard a Palestinian aid convoy unofficially sponsored by Turkey.

Furious Turkish protesters tried to storm Israel's Consulate in Istanbul then marched toward the city's main square denouncing Israel over the deaths, which drew condemnation from around the world. Arab countries expressed outrage and European nations with passengers aboard the ships summoned the Israeli ambassadors to their countries and called for an investigation.

Turkey, which currently holds a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council, demanded it meet about the killings, which Prime Minister Bulent Arinc equated with "piracy." He denied Israeli statements that some on the ships headed for the Gaza Strip were armed and had attacked the Israeli soldiers.

The raid was a devastating blow to relations between the long-time allies, already deeply strained by tensions over Israeli actions in Gaza. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was cutting short his Latin America tour and was expected to return home on Tuesday.

Arinc said, however, that there would be no immediate action on the country's defense cooperation with Israel.

Three of the ships were Turkish-flagged, including the main passenger ship, and the convoy was led a pro-Islamic Turkish aid group. Arinc said about 400 out of 581 passengers on the main ship, the Mavi Marmara, were Turks

"I strongly condemn the use of force by Israeli military forces on an aid convoy composed of 32 countries, including Turkey," he said. "This attack must not remain unanswered.

"We are calling our ambassador today," he said. "We have also canceled three military drills with Israel as well as calling back our under-18 soccer team from Israel."

He ruled out deploying Turkish warships in the Mediterranean. Two of the cancelled military drills were search and rescue exercises in the Mediterranean and the third was a drill in Israel later this year.

He insisted that the Turkish government was not involved in the organization of the flotilla, saying it was a pure act of nongovernmental organizations.

But he disputed reports that the Israelis only opened fire after being attacked by activists with sticks, knives and live fire from weapons seized from the Israeli commandos.

"Israel might be trying to defend itself or justify its action," Arinc said. "What we know is that the ships were totally unarmed and set sail for humanitarian purposes."

——

Associated Press Writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rifts Evident Among Top Democrats After Midterm Trouncing

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 09:11 AM

Tensions that have been simmering within the upper echelons of the Democratic Party are rising to the surface in the wak . . .

Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson to Leave Force

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 08:21 AM

The Missouri police officer who killed an unarmed black teen sparking months of protests in the city of Ferguson will ne . . .

States Will Still Hold Strong Sway Against Obama's Amnesty Plan

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 07:50 AM

If Christian Avila lived a few hundred miles to the west, he would have a driver's license, qualify for in-state college . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved