Erdogan slams organizers of 2010 flotilla following normalization deal with Israel

by WorldTribune Staff, June 30, 2016

Just hours after Turkey signed an accord normalizing ties with Israel, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized organizers of the 2010 flotilla that ultimately led to the severing of relations between the two nations.

“Did you ask me before you set sail? Did you ask my permission,” Erdogan said on June 29, referring to the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation that sent the flotilla.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /AP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /AP

Erdogan’s comments followed days of heavy criticism from the IHH for Turkey’s reconciliation with Israel.

Turkey’s government in 2010, with Erdogan as prime minister, had reacted with extreme anger over the Mavi Marmara incident.

The main ship of a Turkish flotilla trying to breach Israel’s naval blockade was found not to be carrying humanitarian goods despite its claims, refused orders to turn around and forced IDF soldiers to board it where they were attacked and wounded by Islamists armed with knives and metal bars. The soldiers were forced to open fire to defend themselves, killing ten.

“When you set sail you need to ask me? Did you ask the prime minister before you embarked on a humanitarian mission from Turkey to Gaza?” Erdogan asked. “[After the agreement] we have guarantees from Israel that it will authorize the entrance of humanitarian aid we send to Gaza.”

The comments came hours after Israel’s Cabinet voted to approve the reconciliation agreement with Turkey.

Erdogan earlier this week hailed the deal, saying that it achieved all the goals he had set out to achieve.