Erdogan: "Israel's flotilla attack cannot go unpunished"
Turkey has no intention of letting Israel get away with its "pirate-like," "barbarous" May 31 attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which led to the death of nine civilians, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday. Speaking at a joint press conference in Belgrade alongside his Serbian counterpart Mirko Cvetkovic, Erdogan also criticized US indifference to how a Turkish-American was among those killed by the attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship in international waters. "It is significant that the US administration has not taken action regarding Furkan Dogan. We expect them to follow this," Erdogan said, adding that he recently discussed the issue with US President Barack Obama in Toronto, on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting there, and that Obama seems to have understood Turkey's concerns. "Obama has made statements which basically mean that we are justified and that he shares our views," he added. "Obama told us that he would share these views in his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 7. I don't think press reports on the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu reflect what actually happened." Media reports said Turkey's stance demanding an apology from Israel for the raid did not come up at that meeting. "Let me be clear: The Mavi Marmara and those on board it who were carrying medicine and games for children were subject to a barbarous and pirate-like attack in international waters," Erdogan said. "We will never give up pursuing this point." He added that Ankara has been closely following developments on a UN-sponsored probe into the attack. "As politicians, we have to know one thing: We are obliged to rule with justice," he said. "We are obliged to protect the rights of the people of our countries until the end. This is true for the US president and for the Turkish Republic's prime minister as well. Our people are entrusted to us."