According to the paper, in the Turkish version of the interview, Erdogan said: "At the moment, no doubt, Turkish warships are first of all liable to protect their own ships. This is the first step. And there is humanitarian aid, which we will extend. Our humanitarian assistance will no longer be attacked as happened in the case of the Mavi Marmara."
A senior government official quoted by Today's Zaman on Friday said Erdogan's remarks did not mean Ankara was preparing to send humanitarian-aid ships to Gaza, escorted by Turkish gunboats.
"As long as Israel does not interfere in the freedom of navigation, we do not plan on sending any warships to escort humanitarian-aid ships," the official was quoted as saying.
"The misquoted remarks suggest that we have been readying to provide a warship to escort each humanitarian aid ship. This is not the case. However, Turkey will protect its citizens' rights in the event of any interference in international waters."