Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony in Ankara
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony in Ankara. Turkey's naval forces would escort Turkey's humanitarian aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, the Anatolia news agency reported late Thursday. © Adem Altan - AFP
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony in Ankara
AFP
Last updated: September 9, 2011

"Turkey will protect its aid ships for Gaza"

Turkey's naval forces would escort Turkey's humanitarian aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, the Anatolia news agency reported late Thursday.

"We have humanitarian aid to be sent there. And our humanitarian aid will not be attacked anymore like it happened to Mavi Marmara," he told the Al Jazeera TV channel, referring to a deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla heading to the Hamas-run Palestinian territory in May 2010.

Israeli commandos boarded the ship Mavi Marmara, which aimed to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza, and killed nine Turks in international waters, causing a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Ankara last week expelled the Israeli ambassador and suspended all military agreements and industrial defence ties with that country, in retaliation for Israel's refusal to apologize for the raid.

Turkey also said it will take any necessary measures to ensure the safety of shipping in the eastern Mediterranean.

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