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Agence France-Presse

Turkey Sets Up Its Own Inquiry into Israeli Raid

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ANKARA — Turkey has set up a commission to carry out its own
investigation into Israel's raid on Gaza-bound aid ships which left nine
Turks dead, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

The commission,
which will work under the prime minister's office, will "investigate the
attack and the treatment the activists faced" before writing a report
on its findings, the ministry said in a statement.

The report will
be presented to the international inquiry set up by the United Nations
earlier this month to look into the Israeli operation, it added.

The
Turkish commission will include bureaucrats from the foreign, justice,
interior and transport ministries as well as officials from the maritime
agency.

The statement did not say when the commission would finish its report.

The
May 31 raid by Israeli commandos on the flotilla of six ships in
international waters triggered international criticism of Israel and
plunged bilateral ties with Turkey into a crisis.

In June, Turkish
prosecutors also launched an investigation against top Israeli leaders,
which could result in them pressing charges, among them murder, injury,
attacking Turkish citizens on the open seas and piracy, according to
press reports.

Israel has set up two internal investigations into
the raid, but Turkey has dismissed them, expressing doubt over their
impartiality.

Ankara says it is confident the UN commission will
shed light on the incident, but Israel has threatened to pull out of the
probe if the UN commission insists on grilling Israeli soldiers.

Israel
says its commandos resorted to self-defence after they came under
attack from the activists on board. The activists say the soldiers fired
as soon as they boarded the vessels.

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