Turkey prepares to send 'Flotilla of Freedom-2'
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 12 /Trend R.Hafizoglu/
Turkey is in talks with the countries-organizers of the 'Flotilla of Freedom-2'to send a second humanitarian convoy to the Gaza Strip, the Representative of the 'Flotilla of Freedom' and board member of the Foundation for Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid - IHH , Huseyin Oruc, said.
"Some 22 non-governmental organizations will join the 'Flotilla of Freedom-2'. The humanitarian aid will be sent to Gaza as soon as the Turkish side agrees with the countries-organizers of the 'Flotilla of Freedom'," Oruc told Trend over the telephone.
He also noted that date of sending the second humanitarian goods to Gaza has not been defined.
"The exact date of sending the 'Flotilla of Freedom-2' has not been set yet," he added.
On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos raided a humanitarian aid flotilla heading for Gaza, killing nine Turkish nationals one of whom was a U.S. citizen. Turkey said after the attack that it expected Israel to make a formal apology, pay a certain compensation to the families of the victims and to end its blockade over Gaza.
Tel Aviv, in turn, insists that Gaza's blockade, aimed at preventing the smuggling of weapons and ammunition, is legal and participants in 'Flotilla of Freedom' deliberately provoke the Israeli authorities for tough actions.
Orus said the Israeli side, which manifests itself as an aggressor in the matter, is a source of the problems associated with the 'Flotilla of Freedom'.
"Delivery of humanitarian goods to Gaza is a legitimate business. But, the Israeli Navy attack on the humanities vessels, which killed nine Turkish citizens as a result, must be judged by the world community as a crime," he stressed.
Regarding Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statements that the Turkish warships will escort humanitarian convoy to Gaza, Oruc said the Turkish authorities' such a step is a natural and legitimate action to protect persons on board.
"Accompaniment of the 'Flotilla of Freedom' by the Turkish Navy ships will prevent the possibility of an attack by the Israeli special forces convoy. We fully support the authorities' this decision," he noted.
The UN reported that last year's Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla was "excessive and unreasonable". The UN report said Israel's naval blockade of Gaza was legally imposed "as a legitimate security measure" to prevent weapons smuggling, but added that the killing of eight Turkish activists and a Turkish-American was "unacceptable", The New York Times reported.