Turkish PM regards Israel's attack on aid ship as state terrorism

14:33, June 05, 2010      

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday he regarded the Israeli attack on the Gaza- bound aid flotilla, which killed nine people, as state terrorism, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Erdogan made the remarks at a speech in the province of Konya in central Turkey.

On Monday morning, an Israeli raid on the international aid flotilla with more than 600 people on board killed at least nine people and injured nearly 30 others.

Eight of the nine killed were Turkish citizens, and the other one was a U.S. citizen of Turkish descent, according to Anatolia.

Erdogan said he did not see the Gaza-ruling Hamas movement as a terrorist organization, adding that Hamas was only defending their territory.

He said Turkey would continue to stand by the Palestinians and Gaza even if the whole world turned their back on them.

In an exclusive interview with Anatolia on Friday, Muhyittin Yildirim, one of the Turkish volunteers on the attacked ship, argued that Israeli soldiers "attacked" the ship "to destroy."

"We were not expecting them to attack on a ship that was carrying humanitarian aid," said Yildirim.

Yildirim said volunteers started to resist "as a precaution" since they did not trust Israeli soldiers, and the soldiers attacked the ship without any warning.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

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