Israeli diplomats reject Israeli report accusing Erdogan of inciting anti-Semitism

January 27, 2010
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Erdogan and Shimon Peres in Davos in 2009

Israel’s diplomats in Ankara have rejected an Israeli foreign ministry’s report accusing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of inciting anti-Semitism.

Israel’s embassy in Ankara sent an angry message home, saying a report on Israeli-Turkish ties prepared by the Foreign Ministry’s Center for Political Research was “divorced from reality.”

The classified report, distributed to cabinet members and Israeli diplomats abroad and disclosed in the Israeli daily Haaretz, termed Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon’s humiliation of the Turkish ambassador earlier this month a success.

The report said that Turkey had understood Israel’s “hint” – that Tel Aviv thought Turkish hostility toward Israel had crossed a red line. The report also accused Erdogan of inciting anti-Semitism.

One reason why the report was greeted with such shock at the Israeli embassy in Turkey was that its authors, some of whom had worked at the Ankara embassy in the past, did not consult the current embassy staff in Ankara, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

Embassy personnel were also miffed that the report was disseminated so widely and with a such low security classification, at a time when Israel’s relations with Turkey are already badly strained, the paper said.

The embassy said the ministry report contained serious accusations against Turkey that are simply at variance with the facts. For example, it disagreed with the allegation that Erdogan is inciting anti-Semitism, explaining that the concept of anti-Semitism in Turkey is different from it is in Israel or Europe.

The Turkish establishment, the embassy said in a telegram, is not anti-Semitic, and terms used in Erdogan’s speeches that were viewed as anti-Semitic here were seen as just the opposite by the Turks. The embassy also said that in the past – when Israel’s approach to the peace process was more to his liking – Erdogan maintained close ties with Israel.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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