Turkish PM plans Gaza visit

Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly plans to be in Gaza next week, but his anti-Israel policy has come under fire from the opposition in Turkey.

Will Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan break the siege of Gaza? According to reports in the Turkish media, Erdogan plans to go to Gaza next week to break the blockade imposed by Israel. This would be an escalation of the steps taken by Turkey against Israel last week following the release of the Palmer report on the incident in which Israeli commandoes killed eight Turks and one Turkish American when they met violent resistance in taking over the Mavi Marmara, the vessel attempting to run the blockade in May last year. The report found that Israel's blockade was legal, but that the commandoes used excessive force on the ship.

Meanwhile, Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has voiced sharp criticism of Erdogan's anti-Israel policy, saying that it was damaging to Turkey's national interest.

"What happened aboard the Marmara was regrettable, but the UN report will only bolster Israel's blockade of Gaza," Kilicdaroglu said, as reported in Turkish daily "Zaman". "The Palmer report is damaging to Turkey," he added.

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