Espreso. Global

Turkey withdraws ambassador from Israel, Tel Aviv responds

5 November, 2023 Sunday
11:41

On November 4th, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and Israel's refusal to support a ceasefire. The Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry described this as another move by the Turkish president, who they believe supports Hamas

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Politico reported the information.

Turkey joins Bahrain and Jordan, who also previously recalled their ambassadors in protest of Israel's airstrikes on Gaza.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement, highlighting the ongoing “humanitarian tragedy” in Gaza due to Israeli attacks on civilians and Israel's refusal to halt hostilities and allow humanitarian aid to flow freely. As a result, Turkey decided to bring its ambassador, Şakir Özkan Torunlar, back to Ankara for consultations.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan expressed his frustration, stating, “[Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu is no longer someone we can talk to. We have written him off.”

This move represents Turkey's latest effort to distance itself from Israel, but it doesn't necessarily signal a complete rupture in diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

“Complete disconnection is not possible, especially in international diplomacy,” Erdogan said. “But Netanyahu bears the main responsibility for the violence. What he needs to do is take a step back and stop it.”

The outlet also noted that Israel's ambassador to Ankara, Irit Lillian, left Turkey in October, following a warning from Israel's National Security Council against travel to Turkey due to concerns that Israelis could be targeted by protesters.

Israel's response

Following Turkey's decision to recall its ambassador to Israel, Lior Haiat, the spokesperson for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed criticism on Twitter.

Haiat stated, "The Turkish government's decision to recall its ambassador while the State of Israel is in the midst of a war of self-defense imposed on it by a terrorist organization worse than ISIS, is another step by the Turkish president that sides with the Hamas terrorist organization."

Haiat pointed out that Hamas has been responsible for the brutal killing of over 1,400 Israelis and the abduction of 240, including infants, children, women, and the elderly. Additionally, he noted that Hamas uses the people of Gaza as human shields, preventing them from seeking safety and depriving them of essential resources, including fuel, food, and clean water.

"Hamas commits war crimes and crimes against humanity, and is the real enemy of the Palestinian people," emphasized Haiat.

  • Furthermore, President Recep Erdogan had previously stated that Turkey would no longer engage in communication with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was actively pursuing a statement to the International Criminal Court (ICC) concerning alleged war crimes by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

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