Turkey says ties with Israel `will never be the same`
Turkey`s ties with Israel suffered "irreparable" damage and "will never be the same" after the deadly raid on aid ships bound for Gaza, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Thursday.
Ankara: Turkey`s ties with Israel suffered
"irreparable" damage and "will never be the same" after the
deadly raid on aid ships bound for Gaza, Turkish President
Abdullah Gul said on Thursday.
"From now on, Turkish-Israeli ties will never be the
same. This incident has left an irreparable and deep scar" on
relations, he said in televised remarks.
Gul added that Monday`s attack by Israeli forces, in
which eight Turks and a US national of Turkish origin were
killed, "is not an issue that can be forgotten... or be
"Israel has made the biggest mistake in its history. It
will realise this better in the future. Turkey will never
forgive this attack," he said.
The bodies of the nine victims were brought to Turkey
early today along with more than 450 activists and 19 wounded
deported by Israel after being captured in the raid.
Turkey`s Anatolia news agency reported that the victims
were shot dead after forensic experts found bullet marks on
Turkey has already recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv
and scrapped joint war games with Israel in an angry response
to the attack.
Thousands pray in Istanbul for dead flotilla activists
Tens of thousands gathered here
today for prayers for activists killed in Israel`s deadly raid
on aid ships bound for Gaza, condemning the Jewish state and
shouting support for Hamas.
"Damn Israel! Israel is the angel of death!" chanted the
crowd which overflowed the sprawling courtyard of the Fatih
Mosque, waving Turkish and Palestinian flags.
The NTV news channel put the number of the mourners at
between 15,000 and 20,000.
"We are all soldiers of Hamas," the crowd shouted,
referring to the Palestinian Islamist movement, which controls
the Gaza Strip.
Nine people -- eight Turks and a US national of Turkish
origin -- were killed in Monday`s pre-dawn raid by Israeli
forces on the Turkish ferry, Mavi Marmara, the lead ship in
the aid flotilla aiming to break the crippling blockade of
They were all shot dead, according to Turkish forensic
experts, cited by the Anatolia news agency.
"May your martyrdom be blessed," read a huge banner in
the colours of the Palestinian flag, hung on the wall
surrounding the mosque courtyard.
The coffins of eight of the activists were laid on marble
stands, covered with both Turkish and Palestinian flags, as
several imams guided the mourners in the prayers.
One of the dead was to be buried in Istanbul later
Thursday while the rest would be flown to their hometowns.
There will be a separate ceremony tomorrow for the last
dead activist at another Istanbul mosque.