And Israel will send them to the bottom of the Mediterranean if they get out of line.
(JPost) — Turkey is planning to send three warships to the Eastern Mediterranean to defend against Israeli vessels if necessary and ensure freedom of navigation for Turkish ships, Today’s Zaman reported on Monday.
The Turkish ships will provide protection for ships bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and confront Israeli warships outside of Israel’s territorial waters if necessary, according to the report.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan saw “grounds for war” with Israel last year after a deadly raid on a Turkish ship headed for Gaza, according to a transcript of a recent interview.
State news agency Anatolia released late on Sunday what it said was an original Turkish-language transcript of an interview Erdogan gave to Al Jazeera television last week. It included elements not broadcast as well as original wording for sensitive comments that had been transmitted only in Arabic translation.
Among previously unpublished elements, Erdogan said the IDF’s deadly raid last year on a Turkish ship headed for Gaza would have justified going to war: “The attack that took place in international waters did not comply with any international law. In fact, it was grounds for war. However, befitting Turkey’s greatness, we decided to act with patience,” he said.
The transcript in Turkish from Anatolian, apparently provided by Erdogan’s office, also gave the following account of the prime minister’s response to a question on what Turkey would do to ensure free passage for its ships in the Mediterranean.
“Right now, without a doubt, the primary duty of Turkish navy ships is to protect its own ships,” Erdogan said.