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Turkish Navy to escort aid ships to Gaza
1.       Hindistan
246 posts
 11 Sep 2011 Sun 09:59 pm

Turkish Navy to escort aid ships to Gaza

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up his belligerent rhetoric against Israel, saying that Turkish warships will escort future aid boats leaving its territory for Gaza to prevent a repeat of last year´s raid by Israel on a flotilla that killed nine people.

Mr. Erdogan´s comments to al-Jazeera television broadcast on Thursday were the first time Turkey has said its Navy will use force to protect ships attempting to break Israel´s blockade of the coastal territory. Turkey had already announced it would increase Navy patrols in the eastern Mediterranean in response to Israel´s refusal to apologise for the raid.

“At the moment, there is no doubt that the Turkish military ships´ primary duty is to protect (Turkish) ships,” Turkey´s state-run Anatolia quoted Mr. Erdogan as telling al-Jazeera. “We will be making humanitarian aid. This aid will no longer be subjected to any kind of attack as the Mavi Marmara was.”

Eight Turks and a Turkish American were killed aboard the Mavi Marmara — part of an international flotilla trying to break the blockade, which Israel says it imposed in 2007 to keep militants from bringing weapons into Gaza. Dan Meridor, the Israeli Cabinet Minister in charge of intelligence, on Friday said Mr. Erdogan´s threat was “grave and serious.”

The Hindu ( India)

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