Turkey Protests Israel's Treatment of Envoy after Being Insulted
Al Manar TV, website article, published 12/01/2010
Israeli Foreign Ministry sources said that FM Avigdor
Lieberman is trying to stop Defense Minister Ehud Barak from
visiting to Turkey next week, in order to keep up the recent
tensions between the two countries,
Barak was scheduled to leave for Turkey on Sunday to meet with his
counterpart and the foreign minister there, in an attempt to improve
Tensions were renewed on Tuesday after Turkey's foreign ministry
summoned the Israeli ambassador to convey its "annoyance" over
Israel's treatment of its envoy, reprimanded over a Turkish
television series, a diplomat said. "We demanded an explanation and
conveyed our annoyance," the diplomat told AFP on condition of
anonymity after Ambassador Gabby Levy met with the ministry's
On Monday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon summoned the
Turkish ambassador in the Zionist entity for clarification regarding
a recent television drama depicting actors dressed as Shin Bet
officers who kidnap babies.
Just three months ago, a similar diplomatic instance occurred
between the two countries after Turkey aired the controversial
television drama Ayrilik ("Separation") which featured actors
dressed as Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian children.
During the meeting, Turkey's ambassador was seated in a low sofa,
and facing him, in higher chairs, were Ayalon and two other
officials - an arrangement carried out at Lieberman's orders.
A photo-op was held at the start of the meeting, during which Ayalon
told the photographers in Hebrew: "Pay attention that he is sitting
in a lower chair and we are in the higher ones, that there is only
an Israeli flag on the table and that we are not smiling."
According to Israeli Foreign Ministry sources, Lieberman is now
looking to "heat things up" before Barak's trip, so as to torpedo
attempts to mend the tensions.
"We get the sense that Lieberman wants to heat things up before
Barak's visit," a senior Foreign Ministry source said. "All of the
recent activities were part of Lieberman's political agenda."
The Turkish government was expected to give a warm welcome to Barak,
who alongside Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer was looking to
bring the allies' relations back to stability.
The Foreign Ministry sources surmised that Lieberman's efforts were
aimed at preventing Turkey from resuming its role as mediator in
Israel's peace talks with Syria.
On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that
Israel was endangering world peace by using exaggerated force
against the Palestinians, breaching Lebanon's air space and waters
and for not revealing the details of its nuclear program.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry hit back at Erdogan over his remarks,
saying: "Israel is careful to respect Turkey and seeks continued
proper ties between the countries, but we expect reciprocity," the
Foreign Ministry said in a statement, calling Erdogan's remarks an
"The State of Israel has the full right to protect its citizens from
the missiles and terror of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the Turks are
the last who can preach morality to the State of Israel and the
Israel Defense Forces."
At a press conference with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad
Hariri, Erdogan called on the five permanent members of the United
Nations Security Council to pressure Israel over its nuclear program
in the same way that the international community has been dealing
with Iran. "Israel never denied that it has nuclear weapons," said
Erdogan. "In fact, it has admitted to such."
"Those who are cautioning Iran must also caution Israel," Erdogan
declared. "If we fail to display a fair attitude in this region, the
problems will hit not only the region, but will spread elsewhere as
well. The unrest of the Middle East is the unrest of the world."
"Is the Israeli government in favor of peace or not?" Erdogan said.
"Gaza was bombed again yesterday. Why?... There were no rocket
Erdogan was referring to an Israeli Air Force strike Sunday on a
rocket-launching ground in central Gaza, where three Islamic Jihad
resistance fighters were killed. "As Turkey, we can never remain
silent in the face of Israel's attitude... They have disproportional
capabilities and power and they use them," Erdogan said.
"They do not abide by UN resolutions," he added. They say they will
do what they like. We can in no way approve of such an attitude."
During the press conference, Erdogan also declared that Ankara stood
behind Beirut's efforts to join the United Nations Security Council.
Hariri termed Israel as an enemy of Lebanon and a danger to its
The meeting between Erdogan and Hariri came after Lebanese army
anti-aircraft guns on Monday fired on Israeli fighter jets violating
Lebanese airspace in southern Lebanon, a Lebanese army source said.
"The army's anti-aircraft guns fired at four enemy Israeli planes
that were overflying the Marjayoun area in southern Lebanon," the
source who requested anonymity said.
Erdogan denounces Israel´s policies at the Davos summit 2009