Turkish PM suspends Latin American tour (UPDATED)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suspended his Latin American tour Monday and returned to Turkey, the Cihan news agency reported.
This decision was taken after the Israeli navy boarded an international flotilla carrying hundreds of human rights activists and thousands of tons of humanitarian goods to the Gaza Strip.
The Jewish community in Turkey called the actions of the navy toward the human rights activists unacceptable.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded an explanation from the Israeli government, accusing Israel of grossly violating international law.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on Israeli citizens living in Turkey to urgently return home. Thousands of protesters tried to capture the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul this morning, but the Turkish police intensified security measures to prevent them from seizing the building.
According to the Jerusalem Post, human rights activists on board the "Flotilla of Freedom" attacked the Israeli naval first, which resulted in the counterattack.
According to the newspaper, one activist stole a weapon from an Israeli soldier, which led to the outbreak of violence between the activists and the navy.
Israeli naval commandos were also attacked with knives, stones and metal objects, the newspaper reported. The soldiers were forced to take retaliatory measures.
The "Flotilla of Freedom" consisted of six vessels carrying at least 600 human rights activists and 10,000 tons of humanitarian cargo to a blocked Palestinian enclave.