Turkey sets up own probe into flotilla raid
Soon after a UN probe of Israel's deadly May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla began on Tuesday, Ankara announced that it has established its own national commission to investigate the raid in order to submit a report to the UN panel. The Foreign Ministry, in a statement on Wednesday, said that a committee led by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Interior Minister Besir Atalay had already been established to investigate the attack by Israeli security forces on the Gaza humanitarian aid convoy, which took place in international waters and ended with the killing of eight Turks and one Turkish-American. In New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met on Tuesday with the four-member panel probing the flotilla incident as they sat down to map out the investigation. Ban stressed during the meeting that the panelists "should seek the fullest cooperation of the national authorities" as they carry out their work. The first progress report from the panel is scheduled to be delivered by Sept. 15. In related news, state inspectors have found around 250 bullet marks on the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship attacked by Israeli commandos in the incident. Media reports said investigators found the marks had been painted over while the ship was held in Israel after the raid. A report is expected to be sent to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in two to three weeks. Investigators collected around 180 pieces of evidence from the ships, including bloody clothes. The 12-member investigative team includes four engineers and two divers who examined the underside of the ship.