Turkey expels Israeli envoys

Turkey expels Israeli envoys

Israeli ambassador to Ankara left Turkey amid growing tensions over the aggravating situation in Gaza. 

In addition, Turkey's Foreign Ministry told Israel's consul general in Istanbul Yosef Levi Sfari to leave the country "for a while," Turkish media reported.

According to diplomatic sources, the ministry asked the envoy and the consul general to leave following the situation along the Gaza border.

Yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that Turkey calls on Islamic states to reconsider relations with Israel. According to him, Turkey sharply condemns Israel's actions directed against the Palestinians. In turn, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pursuing a policy of racial segregation.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold an emergency meeting on Palestine in Istanbul on May 18.

The head of the political research of the Center for Modern Turkish Studies, Yuri Mavashev, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that both countries are not interested in deepening the conflict, but the situation is so turbulent that predicting further developments is impossible. "Turkish-Israeli relations have not been stable over the past 10 years. Turkish-Israeli ties cannot be considered outside the context of the Middle East processes, since Turkey acts as a certain mediator and defender of Muslims in the region, and making its relations with Israel more stable is very difficult," he pointed out.

"Ankara is in a difficult situation, since it needs partners in the Middle East, including countries that are counterbalances to Iran. Israel was often seen in the Turkish foreign policy strategy as a kind of counterbalance to Iran, which allows it to unite with the Arab countries when this is impossible or difficult for a certain reason. But Israel is taking steps that are assessed as ambiguous by the Security Council and the UN General Assembly. Even if the Palestinians themselves are responsible for instability over the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, it would be logical to hold Israel more accountable, because it is stronger, which means that it must be more responsible to prevent the killing of civilians," Mavashev drew attention.

"Many critics of Erdogan say that there is some inconsistency of the Turkish policy towards Israel. The foreign trade turnover has been more or less stable all these years, and there were no economic problems between Turkey and Israel. The opposition uses it to prove that the ruling Justice and Development Party's words do not meet its actions. Even if the AK Party wants to continue economic contacts with Israel, despite all the statements and expulsions of diplomats, it can be hampered by political forces, especially since it is a matter of protecting Muslims issue - they will ask how Turkey can trade with the state that kills Muslims? A lot will depend on the answer to this question from the AK Party and the president," the expert expects.

"Now Israel does not give any reasons to Ankara could somehow get around this issue. Moreover, not so long ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not take lectures from Turkey. In addition, the deterioration of  relations with the US has intensified, because the decision to move the embassy was taken by Donald Trump, not by Israel. So there is an aggravation of Turkish-US relations, which, in my opinion, should be viewed together with the aggravation of Israeli-Turkish relations," Yury Mavashev concluded.

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