Turkey sends planes to bring back flotilla victims
Turkey has sent three planes to Israel to bring back victims of the lethal raid on the Gaza flotilla, Turkish officials said Tuesday.
Two airplanes belong to the Turkish general staff and one is flying under the auspices of Turkey's Ministry of Health, DPA reported.
They are expected to bring back some 20 Turkish citizens injured in Monday's raid by Israeli commandos on a ship heading to Gaza.
The ship was part of an aid flotilla that intended to break through an Israeli naval blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
Nine people were killed and dozens injured when Israeli naval commandos boarded the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, in a predawn raid. Israeli officials claim the commandos opened fire only after being attacked by the ship's passengers.
The attack on the flotilla has led to a further worsening in the already strained relationship between Turkey and Israel, formerly close allies. Turkish politicians have warned that the incident could lead to irreversible damage to the relations.
Ankara has also called for the United Nations to investigate the incident.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of committing "state terror" in televised remarks Monday.
"International law has been trampled underfoot," he said.