Turkey snubs Israel, recalls envoy

Turkey has temporarily recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations following sharp exchanges over an increase in Israeli violence in the Middle East.

    The Israeli assault on Gaza has angered the Turks

    Turkish Ambassador to Tel Aviv Feridun Sinirlioglu and the

    consul general in Jerusalem arrived separately in Ankara "for

    regular and ordinary consultations", a Turkish official said

    .

    They are due to return to their posts "in the course of the

    week", the official added.

    Turkey has been Israel's chief regional ally for almost a

    decade.

    'State terror'

    Tensions have risen between the two countries after

    unprecedented harsh criticism by Turkish officials of crackdowns on

    the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which have claimed

    many civilian

    lives.

    Last month, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    described Israel's military operations as "state terror". Israel

    riposted saying the comment was "extremely regrettable".

    Turkey then tried to temper the exchanges saying there was no

    change in its ties with Israel.

    Bilateral relations reached their peak in 1996 when the two

    countries signed a military cooperation accord to the chagrin

    of many sections of the Muslim world.

    SOURCE: AFP


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