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Will there be a conflict with Israel? Erdogan will send 1000 boats to the international waters in Gaza blockading the port of Ashdod

Around 1,000 boats will gather in Turkey on Wednesday before heading to Gaza in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade and disrupt maritime trade in the town of Ashdod.
This is another scenario of a possible Turkey-Israel conflict during the war with Hamas.

But in the Eastern Mediterranean region next to Northern Cyprus there are Turkish warships 

The Turkish fleet is in the area possibly to intervene in any Israeli attempt
The Turks have deployed much of their fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean from November 17 to 25 in an attempt to show off their power.

According to a post by the Turkish Ministry of Defence, the Turkish fleet is mobilising 24 surface units, 4 submarines, 10 anti-submarine helicopters, 5 drones, 3 naval cooperation aircraft, 20 fighter aircraft and three flying radars plus special operations units for the exercise.

Although the exercise is called "Eastern Mediterranean 2023", part of it will also take place in the Aegean Sea, in Turkish territorial waters and international waters, according to the relevant NAVTEX issued by the Antalya hydrographic station, which even calls on merchant ships over 300 tons to cooperate with the Turkish authorities if they are going to sail through the exercise areas.

What the Turks are seeking with the Freedom Flotilla

In an interview with the Turkish news website Haber7, Volkan Okçu, one of the organisers of the demonstration, said that the boats will carry 4,500 people from 40 countries, "including anti-Zionist Jews".

Among the 1,000 boats will be 313 boats filled with Russian activists, and 104 filled with Spanish activists, he said.

Only 12 Turkish boats will join the flotilla, the Turkish activist said.

However, Okcu said he expects the number of Turkish ships to be much higher, at least 1,000, and insisted the initiative was not related to the Turkish government and did not explain the discrepancy in the numbers of ships.

The Turkish activist said the flotilla is scheduled to leave Turkish shores on Thursday. The armada of freedom, as he called it, is to make a first stop in Cyprus before continuing on to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Some participants in the flotilla are also reportedly bringing their wives and children on board.

The Turkish activist said that the main objective of the operation would be to cause a disruption of maritime trade in international waters off the Israeli coast towards the port of Ashdod, in order to cut off the supply of goods to Israel for a week or even up to 10 days.

The protest action is reminiscent of the attempt by the so-called "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" in May 2010, which tried to break the maritime blockade in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip but was intercepted by the Israeli Navy.

"The Zionist regime seems to have no chance of repeating the Mavi Marmara incident," the Turkish activist said.

"The ships will fly the flags of the US, the UK, Luxembourg, Russia, Germany, Spain, Poland and many other countries," said the activist who noted that luxury vessels will also join the flotilla and that participants from Europe and the US will spend an average of $14,000 to participate.

Oktsu promised that the protesters would "strictly follow international rules" and would not carry any weapons, "not even a pocket knife," so as not to give Israel any "excuse" to intervene.

"The moment we enter Gaza's territorial waters, [the Israeli forces] can only search us," the activist said, "or tow us to their ports and impose fines," but they will not be allowed by international law to raid the convoy in international waters, as they did at Mavi Marmara in 2010.

"[Israel] would pay a heavy price for attempting any crazy action against such a large international peacekeeping flotilla," Oktsu said.

Erdogan is playing with fire and what we will see if the project physically materializes may even spark a regional conflict.

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