Report: Turkey Closes Skies to Israel
Turkey is closing its skies to Israeli planes, Turkish media outlets reported Monday. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the closure in a meeting with Canadian journalists in Toronto, they said.
Erdogan reportedly described the move as another stage in Turkey's response to a recent clash between Israeli troops and pro-terror Turkish activists in which nine Turkish citizens were killed. The clash took place as foreign activists attempted to break Israel's naval blockade on Gaza. Members of the Turkish group IHH violently attacked and wounded Israeli soldiers as they attempted to board the ship Mavi Marmara, kicking off an armed struggle.
Turkey has demanded that Israel apologize for the incident, compensate Turkish citizens who were wounded, agree to an international investigation of the clash, and end the naval blockade on Hamas-run Gaza.
Israeli officials said they were not informed of any Turkish change in policy regarding Israeli flights. Unless Turkey makes an official statement, Israel will continue to assume that Turkish skies are open, they said.