Turkey closes its airspace to Israeli planes

Turkey closes its airspace to Israeli planes

A Turkish diplomat announced on Monday that his country closed its airspace to military aircraft because of the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla, adding that the decision to prevent aircraft was made shortly after the attack on May 31, but no details had yet been given.

Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, confirmed his country’s commitment to an apology from Israel for its attack on the humanitarian aid fleet which caused the deaths of nine passengers, eight of whom were Turkish nationals and one American of Turkish origin.
Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s demands during a news briefing in Toronto on Sunday, namely: an apology, the formation of an international investigation committee, compensation for damages, including confiscation of one of the Gaza-bound vessels carrying the Turkish flag, and, finally, a complete end to the siege on the Gaza Strip.

Erdogan, who held a bilateral meeting that lasted more than an hour with American President Barack Obama, expressed hope for a positive impact in Israel’s position in the next meeting in early July with Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Particular emphasis was placed on the complete lifting of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, highlighting the United Nations reports on the lack of food, medicines, and building materials in Gaza, stressing the people’s suffering as a result.

Ten days ago Turkish diplomatic sources told the French press that Ankara intends to reduce the level of diplomatic relations with Israel if it does not satisfy the set conditions in compensation for the May 31st attack.