Report: Turkish president demands immediate apology
According to al-Jazeera, Abdullah Gul threatens to recall ambassador should Israel not issue formal apology over public reprimand meeting. Foreign Minister Lieberman addresses affair for first time noting, 'We won't tolerate anti-Semitic remarks, I suggest we work out disagreements directly'
Turkish President Abdullah Gul threatened Wednesday that should Israel not issue a formal apology over the publicized reprimand of the Turkish ambassador, he would be recalled to Ankara, al-Jazeera reported. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman commented on the affair for the first time.
During a press conference with his Cypriot counterpart during a visit to the country, Lieberman said, "We had close and positive relations with Turkey for years.
"We have always respected and appreciated Turkey and the Turkish people. That is why we expect reciprocity in the attitude towards us. We expect Israel to be treated with respect and appreciation. We shall not tolerate anti-Semitic remarks or Jewish libels."
He further added, "I propose to the Turkish government to resume the normal state of relations and to sort out any reservations and disagreements directly and not through public statements and press conferences. That is the best way."
Earlier the al-Jazeera network reported that the Turkish government was not satisfied with the statements issued by Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon following the public humiliation caused to Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Oguz Celikkol, when he asked cameramen to capture an image of the latter sitting at a low seat.
Ayalon's statement read: "In the future, I will clarify my position in diplomatically acceptable ways," the deputy minister said on Wednesday, stressing that "my protest of the attacks against Israel from Turkey is alive and well. However, it is not my way to disrespect ambassadors."
The Turkish president's advisor told the al-Arabiya news channel Tuesday that should Israel have wished to reprimand the ambassador it could have done so by writing and not in the manner it had chosen.
Roee Nahmias contributed to this report