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Anti-Israel protests on the streets of Ankara

Anti-Israel protests on the streets of Ankara
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Fury and defiance hit the streets of Ankara as Turkish demonstrators showed solidarity with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the actions of the government following the Israeli attack on a humanitarian convoy, which left nine people dead.

Relations between Israel and Turkey, its long-time strategic ally and trade partner, are now at an all time low.

Turkish President Abdullah Gull called on Israel to acknowledge its error:

“If Israel admits and realises its mistake, and tries to rectify the situation, then maybe our relations can recover. But it’s clear things will never be the same again.”

Tel Aviv has refused an international inquiry into the incident, while US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell wants the indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to continue:

“We join in and we support the Security Council’s statement on this tragedy, and we will continue to work aggressively to see that the full range of the needs of all the people of Gaza are met. This incident underscores the need to make progress in negotiations that lead to a two state solution,” he said.

All eyes are now on the Irish aid ship the MV Rachel Corrie currently heading for Gaza with 15 people on board.

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has warned Israel not to interfere the vessel.

The ship is expected at the exclusion zone sometime on Friday or Saturday.