Reuters and the Associated Press report:
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan saw “cause 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Among previously unpublished elements, Erdogan said Israel’s deadly raid last year on the Gaza-bound flotilla would have justified going to war: “The attack that took place in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 cause 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.
“This is the first step. And we have humanitarian aid that we want to carry there. This humanitarian aid will not be attacked any more, as it was the case with Mavi Marmara.”