LONDON (AFP) – Turkey’s foreign minister warned Thursday his country was entitled “to take any measure to protect the rights of civilians” in relation to Israel’s killing of nine people on a Gaza-bound aid ship.
On a visit to London, Ahmet Davutoglu was asked whether Turkey would be prepared to cut diplomatic ties with Israel following the deadly flotilla attack in May which killed eight Turks and a dual US-Turkish citizen.
“We expect Israel either to apologise … or to accept an international investigation. I think this is a just and fair request from Turkey,” he said after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London.
“If they do not follow these two alternatives, then of course Turkey… have full rights to take any measure to protect the rights of civilians”.
Davutoglu added: “If Israel wants to improve relations with us, then they should accept accountability and do all the necessary actions to prevent deterioration of our relations.”
Turkey has also called for Israel to pay compensation for the deaths, which sparked an international outcry.
Davutoglu said on Tuesday that Turkey would “not stay indifferent” if its conditions for Israel were not met.
Israel has insisted it would “never apologise for defending its citizens”.