Turkey asked navy to prepare to confront Israel

Ex-Admiral Nusret Guner, who resigned from the Turkish Navy, said that during the Mavi Marmara crisis, the government instructed Turkish forces to prepare to confront Israeli navy commandos.

Turkey asked navy to prepare to confront Israel

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's ex-Admiral Nusret Guner talked about the Turkish humanitarian aid flotilla Mavi Marmara which was raided by Israeli commandos while attempting to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Guner said that the Turkish goverrnment asked the navy if they were ready to confront the Israelis, to which they replied in the affirmative while warning of possible war.

"48 hours was enough for us to prepare for war. Within 6-8 hours, 90 percent of the naval forces can be mobilized. But I thought that the decision-makers should be aware of what their decision would entail. I knew that the situation we were facing could have led to war between the two countries," said Guner.

A few hours before the raid on the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010, the Naval Supply Command in Iskenderun was attacked with rocket launchers. Six soldiers were killed in this attack.

That day, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Ilker Basbug and Navy Commander Admiral Ugur Yigit were abroad on an official visits.

Following the raid, an evaluation meeting began at the Prime Minister's Office at 7:30 A.M. local time (5:30 GMT). Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, Interior Minister Bashir Atalay, Prime Ministry Undersecretary Efkan Ala, Chief of the General Staff Operations Lt. Gen. Mehmet Eroz and Naval Forces Chief of Staff Nusret Guner participated in the meeting.

Guner said escort and guard ships for the Mavi Marmara flotilla came up on the agenda during the meeting, in which government officials asked whether the navy was ready to provide such support.

Guner added, "I said the escort and guard ships are ready. However, in this case, a conflict between Israil and us would only be a matter of time. The authority to impose engagement rules should be given to the Naval Forces."

Nine Turkish nationals were killed by Israeli troops who boarded and opened fire on the Mavi Marmara ship with live ammunition in international waters while it was en route to Gaza.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Mayıs 2014, 18:03