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Erdogan Calls Israeli Raid On Flotilla A 'Bloody Massacre'


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a meeting at parliament today in Ankara
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today accused Israel of carrying out a "bloody massacre" when Israeli commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists during a raid on a Turkish ship that was trying to deliver aid to Gaza on May 31.

Erdogan told an emergency security cabinet meeting today that Israel's raid on the humanitarian aid convoy "deserves every kind of curse."

The meeting was attended by the Turkish defense minister, intelligence chief, and second in military command. Erdogan is expected to address Turkish lawmakers later today.

Turkey says it has sent three planes to Israel to bring back some 20 Turkish citizens who were injured in the raid.

The attack on the flotilla has damaged already strained relations between Turkey and Israel.

Turkish Foreign Ministry officials have said the raid could result in "irreversible damage" to their relations with Israel.

Meanwhile, European activists released after the raid said today that they saw pro-Palestinian activists being beaten, shot at with rubber bullets, and subjected to electric shock by Israeli forces.

Greek activists say even activists who did not resist the Israeli raid on their ships were subjected to the treatment. They also say they were forced to sign confessions that they did not understand, written in Hebrew, before Israeli authorities would release them.

compiled from wire services