Israel should mull future without Turkey as ally, Erdogan warns

January 31, 2010

Erdogan with Shimon Peres in 2009 - Word Press

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Israel to “take another look at its relations with its neighbors” if it wants to maintain ties with Turkey in the future.

“Israel should give some thought to what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future,” Erodegan told Euronews, Israeli media reported.

“The way they recently treated our ambassador has no place in international politics,” said the Turkish leader.

Earlier in January, Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon called Turkish Ambassador to Israel Oguz Celikkol in for a public dressing down over a Turkish television show that depicted Mossad agents as baby snatchers.

At that meeting Ayalon instructed the camera crew, in Hebrew and in the ambassador’s presence, not to film them shaking hands, to show that the Turkish envoy was sitting on a lower sofa, to show that there was only an Israeli flag on the table, and not to film them smiling.

Diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey have deteriorated since the 2008 Gaza attacks.

“We have important ongoing agreements between us. How can these agreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust?” Erdogan said at the launch of the news Eurnoews service in Turkish.

Erdogan criticised Israel’s Cast Lead Operation in Gaza and explained Turkey’s position.

“When innocent civilians are ruthlessly killed, struck by phosphorus bombs, infrastructure is demolished in bombing and people are forced to live in an open-air prison, we cannot see this as compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, simply human rights, and we cannot close our eyes to all this happening,” he said.

Erdoğan also criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netnayhu for saying that he trusted French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and not Erdogan, to serve as an unbiased mediator in peace talks with Syria. “This is diplomatic inexperience, too,” Erdogan said of the prime minister’s statement, “Because when you say this… How can I trust you if you say you don’t trust me?”

When asked by Euronews if Turkey could have handled relations with Israel more diplomatically, Ergodan answered that “I am telling the truth…And I will keep telling the truth.”



About the author

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

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