Turkish Premier: "Staging An Armed Attack On Aid Ships Is Degradation Of Humanity"

ANKARA - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "staging an armed attack on aid ships, killing innocent people and treating civilians as if they were terrorists are nothing but degradation of humanity and vile recklessness. This insolent, irresponsible, reckless and unfair attack by the Israeli government which trampled on every kind of human value must be punished by all means."

Speaking at the parliamentary group meeting of his Justice & Development (AK) Party, Erdogan said, "Turkey and Spain has been co-chairing the Alliance of Civilizations initiative with the aim of consolidate the idea that different faiths, civilizations and cultures can co-exist in peace and tolerance."

"Unfortunately, what happened yesterday was a dark stain on the history of humanity. Staging an armed attack on aid ships, killing innocent people and treating civilians as if they were terrorists are nothing but degradation of humanity and vile recklessness. Even warfare has its own rules. Even in warfare, no one can attack on children, women, the elderly, civilians, religious officials and aid workers. Even despots, bandits and pirates have a certain sensitivity. They abide by some moral principles," he said.

"But Israel has almost challenged the whole world by raiding ships carrying volunteers from 32 different nations. This insolent, irresponsible, reckless and unfair attack by the Israeli government which trampled on every kind of human value must be punished by all means," he said.

Prime Minister Erdogan called on the international community to launch an investigation instead of waiting for action from a government which was not ashamed of its crimes.

"Turkey is not a newly established state. No one should test Turkey's patience. Turkey's friendship is valuable. On the other hand, its enmity is violent," he said.

"There have always been friendly relations and cooperation between Turkish people and Jewish people. I believe that Israeli people who criticized this bloody attack, understand the fact that it was a heavy blow on the friendly relations between the two countries," Erdogan added.

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