Erdogan confirms Turkey airspace ban on Israeli army aircraft

PM Erdogan said that a ban on Israeli military aircraft entering Turkish airspace has been in force since Israeli commandos killed nine Turks were killed.

Erdogan confirms Turkey airspace ban on Israeli army aircraft

 

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that a ban on Israeli military aircraft entering Turkish airspace has been in force since an Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship in which nine Turks were killed.

He confirmed a ban was in place in a response to reports that a plane carrying Israeli officers to Poland to tour Auschwitz was forced to re-route after being refused entry to Turkish airspace.

"This is something that happened after recent events. This has already been announced," Erdogan was quoted by the state run Anatolian news agency as saying before leaving Toronto on Sunday, after attending a G-20 Summit in the Canadian city.

Israeli commandos stormed the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara ship on May 31, killing nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists.

Turkey then recalled its ambassador and cancelled joint military exercises with Israel. Turkish officials have said the government is reviewing its relations with the Jewish state.

Israeli news media reported on Monday that Erdogan has said he was shutting Turkish airspace to Israeli military aircraft, and that this appeared to be Ankara's first operative step against Israel since bringing back its ambassador.

Israel has made no official comment on the reports.

Addressing a news conference on his return to Ankara on Monday, Erdogan was asked whether his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama during the Toronto summit had changed Turkey's position in its dispute with Israel.

"We have come to agreement on all subjects whether it is regarding an apology, reparations to be paid -- these two subjects are between Turkey and Israel -- and the lifting of the blockade being applied on Palestine," said Erdogan.

Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are scheduled to meet on July 6.

Israel opened an inquiry on Monday into events on board the Mavi Marmara a month ago. Turkey distrusts the Israeli investigation and wants a U.N.-led inquiry.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Haziran 2010, 08:31
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