Turkish FM Warns Israel Over Response to New Gaza Flotilla

Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu says that Turkey will respond to 'any repeated act of provocation' on the high seas by Israel, AFP reports.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned Israel not to act against a planned new aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip, the French Press Agency AFP reported on Saturday.

"It should be known that Turkey will give the necessary response to any repeated act of provocation by Israel on the high seas," Davutoglu was quoted as saying in an interview on NTV television.

Turkey’s Ahmet Davutoglu, AP

"Those who believe Turkey should take certain steps to stop (the new flotilla) must first warn Israel not to repeat the human tragedy it caused last year," he continued.

Last May, nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed in clashes that broke out when Israeli naval commandos intercepted a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

The IHH, the group that organized that flotilla, has announced that a new flotilla will sail to Gaza towards the end of June.

Asked whether the Turkish government had made an effort to stop the planned flotilla, Davutoglu said: "We have never encouraged any convoy. We have shared our views about the safety of our citizens with all related parties. That was the case last year and it is not any different this time."

He added that the Turkish government "cannot give instructions to civil society."

Davutoglu also called on the international community, including the U.S., to support the reconciliation deal struck between Fatah and Hamas.

"If the division of the Palestinian authorities is healed, the conditions that serve as Israel's justification for the blockade will be eradicated... and there will be no need for an aid convoy," he was quoted as saying.