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Turkish Parliament Calls for Review of Ties With Israel


Lawmakers in the Turkish parliament are urging the government to review political, economic and military ties with Israel in the wake of Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

The lawmakers approved a declaration Wednesday that calls the raid a clear violation of United Nations rules as well as international law.

Earlier Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his country wants an international commission set up to investigate the incident.

Turkey, which lost four citizens in the raid, has led the international outcry against the Israeli operation. Turkish officials have repeatedly called for an independent investigation, while the United States says it supports an internal probe done by Israel.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the phone Tuesday. A White House statement said Mr. Obama expressed his condolences for Turkey's losses and stressed the importance of finding better ways to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza without undermining Israel's security.

VOA Turkish Service Chief Hulya Polat discusses insight into the Turkish reaction:

Turkey has called for the Israeli blockade of the region to be lifted.

Nicaragua suspended its diplomatic relations with Israel on Tuesday in protest of the deadly raid.

Russia and the European Union issued a joint call Tuesday for an impartial probe, and separately condemned Israel's use of deadly force.

A White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the Obama administration agrees with the wording of a U.N. Security Council statement, which does not specifically blame Israel for the bloodshed.

Israel has said its troops fired shots in self-defense after they boarded the aid convoy in international waters and encountered resistance.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

Related video by VOA's Robert Raffaele

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