Thursday, June 17, 2010
Turkey closes airspace to Israel Air Force, Jerusalem declares Turkish group IHH terrorists
Turkey launched a plan Wednesday night (June 16) to campaign on all fronts for a worldwide boycott of Israel and decided to introduce sanctions leading to the severance of bilateral relations. Its pretext was the absence of a formal apology from Jerusalem for the naval commando raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara ("Blue Marmara"), which left 8 activists dead, and its rejection of an international inquiry of the incident.
In Washington, early Thursday morning (June 17), Democratic and Republican members of Congress announced at a press conference that there would be price to pay if Ankara continued its hate campaign against Israel and tight ties with Tehran.
Rep. Mike Pence, the third-highest ranking Republican, said: "There will be a cost if Turkey stays on its present heading of growing closer to Iran and more antagonistic to the state of Israel." Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel called Turkey's actions "disgraceful."