Turkey mulls action over Israeli attack

Serap Ataay 23.06.2010
By Balan Moses

KUALA LUMPUR: Turkey is looking at the legal aspects of a Malaysian proposal to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over its attack on the MV Mavi Marmara on May 31 that left nine Turks dead.

Its ambassador to Malaysia, Serap Ataay, said the two countries were using international platforms to make certain that the Israeli action saw an adequate response.She said Turkey was "putting together the legal framework" to enable action to be initiated against Israel.

"The continuous support of the Malaysian government, including the special motion in the Dewan Rakyat condemning Israel, is highly appreciated in Turkey. We are grateful."

She said Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, had spoken informally about the Israeli attack after the release of the 12 Malaysians held by the Israelis.The Dewan Rakyat recently approved a motion by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that, among others, stated that Turkey consider action against Israel under provisions of the Rome Statute of the ICC.

Najib had also said that countries condemning the Israeli action also proposed a motion to the United Nations General Assembly to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the matter. Serap said Turkey wanted to work with Malaysia to provide economic and commercial aid to the people of Gaza once Israel lifted its blockade of the territory.She said the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency and the Malaysian Technical Co-operation Programme may consider combining their resources in this respect.

"Once the blockade of Gaza is lifted, we can work together to provide economic, commercial, technical, social, cultural and educational assistance to the people there," she said in an interview.The Israeli attack on the lead ship of the "Free Gaza" Freedom Flotilla also saw a number of activists, including Malaysians being detained. Six Malaysian activists on the MV Rachel Corrie were seized by the Israelis on June 5.Serap said Turkey, like Malaysia, wanted Israel to admit it had committed a crime, issue a formal apology for its attack and pay compensation for the moral and physical damage incurred.She said Israel should not be allowed to get away after breaching international law by launching an attack on civilians from 30 countries in a Turkish-registered ship in international waters.”

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