Turkish FM warns Israel against repeating flotilla attack

[ 26/04/2011 – 04:08 PM ]

ISTANBUL, (PIC)– Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned Israel against repeating the same mistake with the Gaza-bound flotilla scheduled to set sail next month, the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot has reported.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Davutoglu added that it is Israel’s responsibility not to implement the Gaza blockade. He added that a UN fact-finding mission has declared that the blockade is illegal.

The Turkish foreign minister further said: “’In the flotilla last year, people were killed 72 miles from the coast, so this was in international waters. The Mediterranean does not belong to any nation.”

Bulent Yildirim, who chairs the Turkish humanitarian relief fund (IHH) has confirmed that the Mavi Marmara, which was attacked in the first flotilla, will return to Gaza with a sequel international aid flotilla running under the same name set to sail late this May.

The move has caused Israel to ask the US and EU states to thwart the flotilla by discouraging their respective people from participation. Israel has also asked Turkey to stop it before some of the flotilla’s ships leave its ports.

The Turkish FM said in the interview: ”Turkey will not stop the ships from setting sail from its ports, but it would continue to warn activists on board of the dangers they face.”

The Freedom Flotilla 2 coalition has announced the opening of registration to the siege-busting Gaza flotilla for Brits who desire to take part. The coalition said registration actually began two days ago on the group’s website.

The Palestinian Forum in Britain has also added a feature on its website designed to inform about special arrangements made for the flotilla. The site also includes details how to sign up.

Preparations for the convoy are in full swing in participating ports in Europe, North America, North Africa, Asia, South America and Australia. About 15 ships loaded with humanitarian aid are expected to set sail simulateously by the end of May.

The convoy will carry more than a thousand passengers including reporters, human rights workers, technicians and activists.



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