‘Obama warns Erdogan international Gaza flotilla probe bad for Turkey’ 3Jul10 July 4, 2010
Haaretz -Â 3 July 2010
United States President Barak Obama warned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that an international probe into Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla could have negative consequences for Turkey, British Arabic-language daily al-Hayat reported Saturday.
According to the report, Obama warned Erdogan that the international probe which Turkey has demanded could turn into a “double edged sword,” as it could lead to accusations against the passengers on board the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara ship, some of whom were members of the pro-Palestinian IHH organization.
The two leaders met in Canada on the sidelines of the G-20 summit earlier this week.
Following the Israeli Navy commandos’ raid in May in which nine Turkish activists were killed Turkey announced that it was recalling its ambassador to Israel.
Erdogan said the incident represented a complete violation of international law and called for an international probe into the military action.
Last month Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that his government would insist on an international commission to investigate the raid saying that “If an international commission is not set up and Turkey’s rightful demands are ignored, Turkey has the right to review its relations with Israel.”
The foreign minister was responding to Israel’s announcement Monday that it was setting up its own inquiry, which will include two international observers.
The May 31 Israeli raid on the flotilla, led by a Turkish NGO, took place outside of Israel’s territorial waters.
“A commission which will conduct an inquiry into an attack staged in international waters should be international. We demand that an international commission should be formed under the supervision of the UN with participation of Turkey and Israel. We will insist on this matter,” Davutoglu said.
“We believe that Israel, as a country which attacked on a civil convoy in international waters, will not conduct an impartial inquiry,” he added.
The Israeli raid has led to a severe strain in the once-close ties between Turkey and Israel.