Mizrahi. Condemned Erdogan
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Peres and Erdogan in Davos
The IDF Spokesperson's Office published a statement Saturday evening renouncing views expressed by GOC Ground Forces Command Major-General Avi Mizrahi about Turkey.
Mizrahi's comment weighed heavily upon the already strained ties between Turkey and Israel, and Israel's ambassador to Ankara, Gabby Levy, was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry for a discussion on the matter.
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During a speech at Gelilot military base the general condemned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's actions at the Davos Economic Forum, where a spat between President Shimon Peres and Erdogan over Israel's offensive in Gaza caused the latter to storm out.
Haaretz reported that Mizrahi said Erdogan should "take a look at himself" before criticizing others, in an allusion to the Armenian genocide and the oppression of the Kurdish people. He also mentioned the Turkish occupation in northern Cyprus.
Regarding the prime minister's calls to expel Israel from the UN, Mizrahi said the international organization should expel Turkey as well.
Turkey's military said the remarks "cannot be accepted under any condition" and "can harm national interests between the two countries."
In a rare move, the IDF Spokesperson's Office issued a statement saying Mizrahi's comments did not represent the army's position.
"In his speech before convention participants General Mizrahi spoke regarding the moral and merited conduct of IDF soldiers and officers during the 'Cast Lead' operation. In his comments regarding Turkey's criticism of Israel the general said things that could be interpreted as criticism on Turkey's past," the statement said.