FM Davutoglu: "Nobody can blame Turkey for the May 31 flotilla incident"
Nobody can blame Turkey for the deaths of civilians in international waters in May, said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday, rebuffing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that Turkey had provoked a confrontation by endorsing a Gaza-bound flotilla of aid ships. In a joint press conference with his Belgian counterpart Steven Vanackere, Davutoglu said that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had already refuted Netanyahu's arguments. On Monday, testifying before an Israeli investigative commission into the May 31 raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, which left nine Turkish peace activists dead, Netanyahu said Turkey had been spoiling for a fight. Ban denied Monday that he had struck an agreement with Israel to bar a UN investigative panel from interviewing Israeli military personnel over the flotilla incident. Ban said he had "full confidence" in the UN panel. Responding to Netanyahu, Davutoglu said, "Nobody can place the responsibility for the killing of civilians in international waters on the other party. It is very clear that Israel killed civilians in international waters. First of all, they should face up to that responsibility." Davutoglu expressed Turkey's confidence in the UN panel being able to determine the party responsible for the incident in line with international law.