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Turkey Protests Israeli Raid on Gaza Aid Flotilla

  • Dorian Jones

The reported killing of at least 10 people by Israeli forces during a raid on ships seeking to break the Israeli and Egyptian blockade on the Palestinian Gaza Strip has provoked public and diplomatic anger from Turkey, which has recalled its ambassador to Israel.



Hundreds more are holding protests outside Israel's Istanbul consulate and the residence of the Israeli ambassador in Ankara. Many of the protesters are angry with Israel over the attack. This man's view is typical.

"What Israel did was murder and terrorism."

Several protesters tried to scale the high fences protecting the Israeli consulate.

Israel said its forces encountered unexpected resistance as they boarded the vessels trying to break the blockade. Dozens of passengers and at least five Israeli soldiers were wounded in the confrontation in international waters.

A Turkish charity was one of the organizers of the aid delivery to Gaza, and the worst clashes and most of the deaths are reported to have occurred on a Turkish ship.

The flotilla of three cargo ships and three passenger ships was reportedly carrying 10,000 tons of aid and 700 activists carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials.

Turkey's Islamic-rooted government has condemned Israel and recalled its ambassador for consultations.

The Israeli ambassador has been summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry, while a Turkish foreign ministry statement warned of irreparable damage to Turkish-Israeli relations.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cut short his Latin American visit and is returning home.

It is reported he has called the U.N. secretary-general to request an emergency meeting of the Security Council, of which Turkey is a non-permanent member.

In the recent past, Israel and Turkey have enjoyed close political and military relations.

Israel imposed the blockade after Hamas, which it considers a terrorist group, violently seized the territory.

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