Istanbul - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that his government will take additional retaliatory measures against Israel in an escalating row over the killing last year of nine Turkish activists aboard a Gaza-bound ship.
After ejecting Israel's ambassador and cutting military ties, Erdogan released a report stating that trade relations between the two nations would be frozen.
However, that report was swiftly corrected by Erdogan's office, television station NTV reported. The prime minister also promised an expanded Turkish marine presence in the Eastern Mediterranean sea.
In a press conference, Erdogan also accused Israel of acting 'like a spoiled child' and vowed to stand against what he called 'a whiff of state-sponsored terrorism' emanating from Israel.
'Trade relations, military relations, the relationships between defence companies - all of these things will be completely frozen, and additional steps will follow,' Erdogan said.
Erdogan also announced that he would visit the Gaza Strip, possibly during his visit to Cairo beginning on 12 September, pending discussions with his Egyptian counterparts.
Immediately after his pointed media appearance, Erdogan's office moved to blunt the impact of his impolitic words.
His staff told NTV that his statement regarding heightened sanctions might have been taken out of context.
The prime minister's office didn't respond to media inquiries.
NTV's newsroom told the German Press Agency dpa that it had received the correction to Erdogan's speech from a trusted source.
Just a day earlier, Turkish economics minister, Zafer Caglayan, said that no new sanctions against Israel were in store.
On Friday, Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador to Ankara. It then cut joint military ties.
These two moves were the country's diplomatic response to a United Nations report, which described Israel's storming of a ship containing Turkish protesters on 31 May, 2010 as 'excessive' but 'legal.'
Erdogan on Tuesday also announced the broad outlines of a plan to step up Turkey's marine presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Monsters and Critics