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2 septembre 2011 5 02 /09 /septembre /2011 17:10

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2 Sep 2011 By UMIT ENGINSOY and BURAK EGE BEKDL DefenseNews

 

ANKARA - Turkey moved Sept. 2 to cut all military ties with Israel and also announced it will expel the Israeli ambassador in Ankara next week after part of a United Nations report on last year's deadly Israeli attack on a Turkish-led flotilla bound for Gaza was leaked to the press.

 

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also announced that diplomatic relations are being reduced to the level of second secretaries, and all higher-degree diplomats from both nations would return home next week.

 

Many of the aspects of the U.N. report, which was leaked to the New York Times, are unacceptable, he said.

 

The leaked copy of the report says Israeli forces did use excessive force when they intercepted the Turkish-led flotilla trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza. But the report also concludes that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza is legal - a move that has angered Turkey.

 

Turkey said its measures would take effect when the U.N. report appeared later in the day.

 

Turkish President Abullah Gul said the report was "null and void for us,"

 

In last year's flotilla raid, nine Turks were killed by Israeli commandos. Ankara at the time lowered the degree of military ties, but the latest decision even cuts the smallest military contacts. Turkey, in the wake of the May incident, also withdrew its ambassador in Israel. But Israel's ambassador Gaby Levy remained in Ankara.

 

Turkey has asked for Israel's apology and compensation to the families of the dead, but Israel has refused to do so.

 

Davutoglu also said at his news conference Sept. 2 that Turkey did not recognize Israel's blockade on Gaza.

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