Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gathered in a second emergency summit with Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, force commanders and ministers who are members of the National Security Council (MGK) at his residence on Wednesday to discuss the situation with Israel. This is the second summit on the matter since Tuesday.
A a brief written statement was issued after the four-hour meeting late yesterday afternoon. The statement said the Cabinet members and generals discussed possible political, diplomatic, economic, military measures to be taken against Israel.
The measures came in response to an Israeli attack on a Turkish-flagged ship sailing in international waters. The statement did not give any details on the measures outside of saying that action had been taken to bring back those who were being detained in Israel.
The meeting also took up the recent rise in domestic acts of terrorism at yesterday’s meeting, the statement noted. The statement emphasized that “efforts to alleviate the conditions that terrorists exploit” will continue.
Headed by PM Erdoğan, the National Security Council convened on Wednesday to discuss the Israeli attack on an aid flotilla that left at least nine civilians dead.
Erdoğan, who cut short his trip to Chile after Israel’s attack on the Turkish-led humanitarian aid flotilla, said in an address to his party’s parliamentary group on Tuesday that Israel should not test Turkey’s diplomatic patience and that Turkey would do everything in its diplomatic power to generate the deserved response.
As the MGK convened yesterday, the Turkish Parliament released a firm declaration condemning Israel in the strongest terms and appealing to the international community for an impartial investigation into the incident.
The flotilla was the ninth attempt by sea to breach the three-year blockade Israel and Egypt imposed after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, home to 1.5 million Palestinians. Israel allowed five seaborne aid shipments to get through but snapped the blockade shut after its 2009 war in Gaza.
Meanwhile, dozens of peace activists detained after the ships in the aid flotilla were escorted out of international waters and into an Israeli port returned home yesterday bearing accounts of mistreatment at the hands of Israeli authorities prior to their deportation. The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office will be talking to the hostages in the next few days to decide whether to launch an investigation into the perpetrators of the attack.