Turkey has closed its airspace to Israeli military flights following the deadly May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship, Turkish officials said today. The announcement came after an Israeli newspaper reported yesterday that a plane carrying Israeli military officers to a tour of memorial sites in Auschwitz, Poland, had been blocked from flying over Turkish airspace.
The transport plane, with more than 100 commissioned and noncommissioned officers on board, was forced to make a detour. A Turkish government official said the ban was for Israeli military flights and that commercial flights were not affected. It was not a blanket ban and each flight request would be assessed case-by-case, the official added. Turkey has called for Israel to apologize for the raid, return the seized aid ships, agree to an international investigation, and offer compensation for the victims.