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Turkish FM warns Israel not to repeat last year's flotilla 'mistake'

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 5/27/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey’s foreign minister has warned Israel not to repeat the 'same mistake' with an aid flotilla set to depart for Gaza next month, referring to a fatal raid on a Turkish aid ship last year.

Turkey’s foreign minister has warned Israel not to repeat the “same mistake” with an aid flotilla set to depart for Gaza next month, referring to a fatal raid on a Turkish aid ship last year.

“We think Israel has enough experience not to repeat such a mistake again,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said late Thursday in a televised interview.

The foreign minister said the government was working on all scenarios, including worst-case scenarios, in regard to the new flotilla bound for Gaza next month.

The Israeli government has so far only contacted the Turkish Foreign Ministry in an attempt to avert a repetition of last year’s crisis on the Mavi Marmara aid ship, well-placed sources said, adding that no other diplomatic initiative had been taken since that time.

When asked about the Israeli raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010, and the new flotilla initiative this year, Davutoğlu said there were differences between the two.

Eight Turkish activists and one American citizen of Turkish origin were killed during the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara last year.

Since last year’s deadly raid, Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah have reached reconciliation in a sign of intra-Palestinian unity and brought attention to the “serious attitude” of the international community toward Israel in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident, he said.

Davutoğlu said Israel should recognize the new Palestinian unity administration and lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip if it does not want new flotillas. Instead of doing this, he said, Israel is refusing to recognize the reconciliation in Palestine and is insisting on the blockade.

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