In a joint press conference with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, Turkish Prime Minister Receb Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey will not be silent regarding Israel’s deadly raid on Freedom Flotilla, and reiterated his call for an international investigation and a fact-finding committee. He said that “those who committed this act should be prosecuted and must pay for their crimes in accordance to the international law.”

Erdogan said that the Gaza Strip has become a prison due to the Israeli siege, which he described as a crime against humanity. He called the blockade an unacceptable act of collective punishment.

The Turkish Prime Minister called on the International Community to act against Israel’s violations, and said that the Security Council issued more than 100 decisions regarding Israel’s occupation and violations, but not a single resolution was implemented.

Meanwhile Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, said that Israel must realize that its continued occupation makes it always the enemy of the owners of the occupied lands, and that by killing the peace activists, Israel wanted to tell Turkey that this is the price it has to pay for being a fair mediator in the peace process.

Asad described the Israel attack as an ugly crime that reflects the true nature of the state of Israel, and added that “Israeli crimes are always the same, targeting innocent civilians and then describing them as terrorists.”

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, demanded Israel to declare a clear stance regarding an international committee in charge of investigating the attack.

Davutoglu added that Turkey is still evaluating its relations with Israel, and that the future of the Israeli-Turkish military cooperation depends on Israel’s cooperation with the investigation committee.

It is worth mentioning that Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, also arrived in Ankara to hold talks with Turkish officials.

His visit comes to express condolences to the families of the activists who were killed by the Israeli army during the attack against the Freedom Flotilla, and for talks with the Turkish president and other officials.

Abbas held talks with the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, and told him that the Israeli attack on Marmara ship is a “double crime,” as this attack was carried out in international waters, and it led to dozens of civilian casualties.

The Turkish President stated that forming an international committee by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, is an important step, and added that it would also be a good move if the Palestinians achieve national unity.