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Israeli raid provokes fury in Turkey

Israeli raid provokes fury in Turkey
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The Israeli raid on the ships heading for Gaza has caused outrage in Turkey. The flotilla was jointly organised by a Turkish charity; most people on board were Turkish, including some of the victims.

There have been protests in Istanbul. Ankara has reacted furiously, cancelling joint military exercises, recalling its ambassador to Israel and successfully calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

“I want to say very clearly that the assault that Israel has carried out, whatever the reason, is an act of state terrorism that is totally against international law,” said the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at the end of a visit to Chile before heading home.

He echoed the words of his foreign ministry, which warned that relations with Israel might have “irreversible consequences”.

“This assault shows us clearly,” he went on, “that the Israeli government absolutely does not want peace in the region. Faced with this inhuman state terrorism, we are not going to stand by without reacting. We will give a concrete response.”

Turkey was Israel’s closest Muslim ally but relations have deteriorated over the past few years.