QA-22, 22 December 2012,Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question Regarding the Press Reports on the Mavi Marmara Incident

Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question on the accuracy of press reports - which were reflected by international press as if an inquiry has been conducted on Jewish citizens of Turkey - stating that some institutions in Turkey, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently prepared a study and presented it to a court in order to identify some individuals from Turkey who participated in the Mavi Marmara raid.

There is no basis for this news published with reference to some Turkish institutions. It is clear that these press reports which have been picked up by the foreign press, particularly in the U.S., have been exploited and led to some misperceptions.

In this context, it is only normal that both national and international legal proceedings are held regarding the attack by Israel armed forces on the humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza on May 31, 2010. These legal processes will continue.

 We are also saddened to see that the way the developments regarding these legal proceedings in Turkey are presented has been discomforting and troubling our Jewish citizens.  We cannot accept generalization and presentation of allegations regarding possible perpetrators of the incident in a way that targets the Turkish Jewish community who are a part of our society and equal citizens of Turkey.

In no point in Turkey's history has there been any anti-Semitisim; there is none today, and there will be none in the future.  Racism has no place in our nation's culture or traditions.  It is well known that Turkey for centuries has been a safe-haven for Jews and others fleeing from persecution.  Moreover, Turkish authorities have on numerous occasions underlined at the highest levels that we regard anti-Semitism and racism as a crime against humanity.

We strongly reject recent efforts - based on some news reports in the international press - to try to create a perception that there exists a specific attitude towards our Jewish citizens in Turkey.