Friday, September 2, 2011

Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador Over Flotilla Raid

Turkey said on Friday that it was downgrading its diplomatic and military ties with Israel and expelling its ambassador in a display of anger at Israel’s refusal to apologize for a commando raid last year on a Turkish protest flotilla bound for Gaza in which nine people died.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey would reduce its diplomatic representation in Israel to the level of second secretary — one of the lowest diplomatic ranks — and had ordered Israel’s ambassador, Gabby Levy, to leave Turkey by Wednesday. Reuters said Mr. Levy was currently in Israel and had canceled plans to return to Turkey.
“All military agreements have been suspended,” Mr. Davutoglu said but added that relations could return to normal if Israel apologized.
“Our aim here is not to hurt our friendship but to return this friendship to its right track,” Mr. Davutoglu said.”

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