Turkish President, Prime Minister, Refuse To Meet Barak
January 17, 2010 | By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies
Turkish media sources reported on Saturday that the Turkish President, Abdullah Gül, and Prime Minister, Receb Tayyip Erdogan, will not hold a meeting with Israel’s Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who will be visiting the country on Sunday.
Barak officially requested to convene with the Turkish President and Prime Minister but they denied his request due to the strained relations between the two countries.
So far, Barak is scheduled to meet his Turkish counterpart, Decdi Gonul, and the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. He will be accompanied by Udi Shani, the director-general of the Defense Ministry, and the Ministry’s Political desk head, Amos Gilad, Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported.
Gül claimed that he cannot meet Barak because he is busy with the preparations for the activities of Istanbul as the capital of European Culture. But Turkish sources reported that the real reason is Israel’s recent mistreatment of the Turkish ambassador.
Israel’s vice-Foreign Minister, Danni Ayalon, from the fundamentalist extreme right-wing party, Yisrael Beiteinu party, threatened to kick the Turkish ambassador out of the country due to a Turkish TV show accusing the Israeli army of committing war crimes against the Palestinian people.
In an Interview with Israel’s TV, Channel 2, Ayalon threatened to kick out the ambassador of any country that criticized Israel and shows its soldiers as war criminals.
Last week, Ayalon summoned the Turkish Ambassador and humiliated him and also had him sit in a seat lawyer than his to look down on him while “criticizing the Turkish TV show”.
Ayalon later on apologized to the ambassador and claimed that he believed what he did was foolish, yet he said that the causes of this crisis are valid.