Turkish riot police fired tear gas and water cannon on Friday to disperse protesters who pelted the Israeli consulate in Istanbul with stones in protest at Israel's ground offensive on Gaza, local media reported.
Protesters also threw rocks and raised Palestinian flags outside the Israeli embassy in the capital Ankara, where police did not intervene. Windows of the building were broken, local media said.
Protesters burn Israeli flag outside consulate (Photo: AP)
In Istanbul, demonstrators chanted "Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine," and smashed consulate windows with sticks and rocks. Graffiti reading "Die out murderer Jew" was scrawled on the wall across from the consulate.
The protests in Istanbul started at around 1:30 am near the Israeli Consulate. Some began of climb the consulate's wall at around 02:30 am and then started to throw stones and sticks at its windows. Police intervened and used tear gas.
In Ankara, protestors threw stones at the Israeli ambassador's residence. They then broke the windows of his house and hung a Palestinian flag in place of the Israeli one. (UPDATE: Israel has since recalled some of its diplomatic mission).
Rocks on consulate (Photo: Reuters)
Turkey's foreign minister has "vehemently" condemned Israel's ground invasion of Gaza. Using his Twitter account, Ahmet Davutoglu said the ground operation is testing "the conscience of humanity."
Davutoglu called for emergency meetings of the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strongly spoken out against Israel's bombardment of Gaza and said the operations are derailing Turkish and Israeli efforts to mend ties.
Police fire water cannons (Photo: AP)
According to Algemeiner,
the head of the IHH, an NGO behind the infamous Mavi Marmara flotilla, Bulent Yildirim, told local media station Haber Turk that “Turkish Jews will pay dearly” for Israel’s actions.
Facebook photo of child urinating on Israeli flag (Turkish social media)
“Israel is acting like a spoiled child,” Yildirim said. “Jewish tourists, don’t dare come to Turkey. Tonight and tomorrow we are going to hold a different kind of protest, we do not have patience anymore.
“The Zionists are putting the future of the Jews in danger, we can not hold back our youngsters anymore,” he said.
Protestors replace Israel flag with Turkish one (Photo: Reuters)
On Wednesday, a Turkish daily affiliated with Prime Minister Erdogan called on the country's Jewish community
to apologize for the Palestinian casualties of the Israeli operation in Gaza.
"You came here after being banished from Spain," Yeni Akit correspondent Faruk Köse wrote Wednesday in an open letter to Hakham Bashi, the chief rabbi of Turkey's Jewish community. "You have lived comfortably among us for 500 years and gotten rich at our expense. Is this your gratitude – killing Muslims? Erdogan, demand that the community leader apologize!"
In the right-wing newspaper's editorial, Ali Karahasanoğlu wrote: "After the barrage of missiles which hit the capital city of Tel Aviv, Israel has been pushed into a corner and is crying out for a ceasefire, which at the moment only serves Israel and the United States.
"The IDF is using forbidden weapons, intentionally killing children and murdering Muslims for the sake of murdering Muslims. Hamas is unprepared to accept dictations from Israel and the US, and will only lay down its weapon after its understandings are accepted.
"While all this is happening, the journal of the Jewish community in Turkey, 'Shalom,' is referring to the murder of children in Gaza as 'taking care of terrorists.'"
Reuters, the Associated Press and Roy Yerushalmi and Omer Benjakob contributed to this report