Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community not to accept an independent Israeli investigation into the lethal operation against the "Freedom Flotilla" to Gaza. He called the IDF action a "massacre" and warned Israel not to test Turkey's patience.
During a speech before the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Erdogan said the flotilla was legal, and the operation against it was a violation of the spirit of the UN. He added that the unjustified attack against the flotilla was "a blow to world peace and against international law."
Erdogan, who was applauded throughout the speech, went over the steps taken by Turkey following the incident, including the recall of the Turkish ambassador in Tel Aviv, the cancellation of three military exercises that the two states were supposed to carry out, and the return of a young Turkish basketball player from Israel.
"Now Israel has shown to all the world how well it knows how to kill," he said. "People were killed and badly wounded, some from shots, even when bound. How human is this? There is no other way of explaining this to the world. All states condemn it, but this is not enough, we need results. People around the world need to know that one day justice will be revealed. If Israel does not immediately free all the detainees and wounded, the rift in relations with it will widen."
'Friendship strong as animosity'
Erdogan then attacked Israel, saying the operation was an act of piracy, and called on Israel's citizens to oppose their government. "We expect the states whose citizens took part in the flotilla to respond to Israel's unacceptable acts."
Israel, he said, must stop using the excuse of self-defense to justify its behavior.
Erdogan emphasized that his country has never been anti-Semitic. He thanked the Jewish community in Turkey for its support for Turkey's position.
"Turkey's friendship is as strong as its animosity," he said. "The Israeli nation must pressure its government to cease such acts. All detainees must be released, including parliament members and the 60 Turkish journalists. Israel will not be able to show itself in the world until it apologizes for what happened and undergoes self-criticism. It is destroying its alliances one after the other."
Due to the flotilla events, Erdogan cut short his visit to South America and returned to Ankara. During talks with Chilean reporters before his return, he said the events were "state terror" and called for an emergency NATO meeting to discuss the escalation.
"This operation, which is completely against international law, is an act of inhuman state terror," he said. "Don't think that we'll sit by in silence after such events."