Hürriyet Daily News reports:
The eastern Mediterranean will no longer be a place where Israeli naval forces can freely exercise their “bullying” practices against civilian vessels, a Turkish official said Friday.
The official said this would be the outcome of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s statement earlier in the day that “Turkey would take every precaution it deems necessary for the safety of maritime navigation in the eastern Mediterranean.”
Davutoğlu’s statement about providing maritime safety in the eastern Mediterranean grabbed the most attention among the various sanctions against Israel the foreign minister announced Friday. He did not further elaborate, however, on what he meant by taking “every precaution.”
The Turkish foreign minister’s statement will likely spark a new faceoff between Turkey and Israel, the region’s strongest armies, in the eastern Mediterranean. A potential confrontation between the two countries’ navies would have serious negative consequences for regional stability.
Turkish diplomats told the Hürriyet Daily News that the Turkish Navy will be more visible in the eastern Mediterranean through regular patrolling in international waters. “A more aggressive strategy will be pursued. Israel will no longer be able to exercise its bullying practices freely,” one said.