Turkish army chief cuts short Egypt trip after Israel attack

Barak called Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul after the attack, Anadolu news agency said.

Turkish army chief cuts short Egypt trip after Israel attack

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug cut short his visit to Egypt and is returning to Turkey.

Gen. Basbug is returning home due to an attack in Iskenderun town of the southern province of Hatay as well as Israeli deadly operation on a convoy of aid ships of a Turkish relief organization carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza. The attacked aid ship is carrying Turkish flag.

He is expected to arrive in Turkey around noon.

Early on Monday, six Turkish troops were killed and seven others were wounded when PKK militants attacked with rockets on the Naval Reinforcement Command in Iskenderun.

Again early in the day, Israeli navy's forces raided a convoy of aid ships of IHH --a Turkish humanitarian relief organization-- carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza. Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Israeli operation. Israeli TVs said, up to 16 people have been killed while Israel confirmed only 10 people dead.

The flotilla, which includes three cargo ships and three passenger ships, was trying to draw attention to Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. The boats were carrying items such as electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc chaired an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss the Turkish response.

Turkish media reported, while Davutoglu was reported to have spoken on the telephone with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

Barak called Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul after the attack, Anadolu news agency said.

Israeli Ynet news portal said that Barak also met with the Turkish ambassador in Tel Aviv, but did not give further details.

The protesters in Istanbul were preparing to march to central Taksim Square and traffic was blocked up for miles along a thoroughfare.

While the governor of Istanbul urged protestors to stay calm, emotions ran high.



Agencies

Last Mod: 31 Mayıs 2010, 14:30
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