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Israel, Turkey humiliate each others' envoys in escalating diplomatic spat

17 May 2018, 12:44 | Marta Robbins

Ilkay Gündogan Mesut Özil President Erdogan and Cenk Tosun posed together in London Kayhan Ozer Reuters

Ilkay Gündogan Mesut Özil President Erdogan and Cenk Tosun posed together in London

Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel's response to the Gaza protests and of the US Embassy move, recalling its ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington and calling for an emergency meeting of Islamic nations on Friday.

Ambassador Eitan Naeh was summoned to the foreign ministry and told to "return to his country for a period of time", said a Turkish foreign ministry official, AFP reported.

Turkey has told the Israeli ambassador to the country to temporarily leave in protest of the situation in Gaza, which saw almost 60 Palestinian rioters killed by Israeli forces on Monday.

Ankara has reacted with fury to the killings, which came on the same day as the U.S. formally moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Tuesday that a planned summit this week of the worlds main pan-Islamic body would send a "strong message" after Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians along the Gaza border.

Nearly 3,000 people were injured as protests at the border between Israel and Palestine turned ugly. Netanyahu hit back a day later, saying that as a prime supporter of Hamas, the Turkish leader was himself involved in "terrorism and slaughter".

Speaking at a dinner on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Erdogan said the majority of the worldwide community had failed to react to the events in Gaza, and warned that remaining silent would mean "opening a very unsafe door".

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The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 more injured in Monday's clashes.

Turkey's consul in Jerusalem was also ordered closed by Israel on Tuesday.

The Turkish president added, "Want a lesson in humanity?"

He also noted that Erdogan had spoken with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by phone while Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had called his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad al-Maliki. Erdoğan now holds the rotating chairmanship of the body.

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek and Finance Minister Naci Ağbal are also taking part in the meeting.

Erdogan regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and a year ago hosted an OIC summit in Istanbul to denounce US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.



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