Protesters burn a Star of David during a demonstration outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul
Protesters burn a Star of David during a demonstration outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, Monday, May 31, 2010. Photo by AP

The government issued a travel warning yesterday telling Israelis to avoid going to Turkey for fear of "outbreaks of violence against Israelis" following the killing of activists aboard the Free Gaza flotilla. Not everybody was deterred, though.

Avi Cohen from Nahariya stood near the counters of Turkish Airlines at Ben-Gurion International Airport yesterday and spoke with his daughter on the phone as she tried to convince him not to take the flight to Istanbul.

"So what if there is a warning not to travel? I am not going to walk in the streets," he told his daughter. "You know that I go there for work. It's more dangerous in Israel than over there. Don't fret. I got it. I heard. You told me six times already."

Some 150 passengers were scheduled to fly on flight 787, which took off at about 3:20 P.M. from Israel to Turkey. There were no cancellations reported, but one of the ground staff who processed passengers on an earlier flight to Istanbul said a few passengers changed their minds at the last minute.

Adeeb Qassem from Umm al-Fahm walked up to the counter accompanied by a security guard to check in for the Istanbul flight.

"I consulted the company in Turkey whether to cancel or delay the trip. They told me 'come.' I am going for business. It's no less dangerous in Israel. Also, I am an Arab and a Muslim," he noted.

Another Israeli who did not cancel his trip was Lior Musyuv from Herzliya who is traveling to India via Istanbul.

"I did not think to cancel the trip. I am on my way to India. In Istanbul I am changing planes. I heard what happened on the ships. It is frightening, but I am going," he said.