News / Middle East

Turkey to Israel: Ankara Has No Control Over Gaza Flotilla

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (file photo)
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (file photo)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has told Israel not to attempt to stop an upcoming supply flotilla to Gaza next month.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday, Davutoglu said Israel should not repeat “the same mistake” it made last May by preventing an earlier supply flotilla from reaching Gaza last May.  He said that no one nation owns the Mediterranean. 

Turkey said it had received a request from Israel to help stop a flotilla to Gaza scheduled for late next month by the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement, but the government said it could not stop them.  The activist group says it is hoping to have 15 ships in what it calls the Freedom Flotilla 2.

Last year’s incident began when a six-ship flotilla with 10,000 tons of supplies ignored Israeli warnings and tried to break its three-year-old blockade of Gaza. 

Israel’s military says its forces intercepted the flotilla, and commandos opened fire in self-defense when they were attacked by the activists.  Nine Turkish activists were killed and seven Israeli soldiers were wounded.

Relations between Israel and former ally Turkey have been strained since the incident.  Turkey has laid out a set of conditions to help normalize relations between the two countries, including an apology and compensation. Israel has refused to apologize.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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