Israel recalls diplomats from Turkey amidst tensions over Erdogan's Statements

Israel recalls diplomats from Turkey amidst tensions over Erdogan's Statements

Shafaq News/ Israel has summoned its diplomatic representatives from Turkey following what it deemed a "grave statement" made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Given the grave statements coming from Turkey, I have ordered the return of diplomatic representatives there in order to conduct a reevaluation of the relations between Israel and Turkey." Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced the decision on his X account.

Erdogan's recent remarks were announced during a pro-Palestinian rally in Istanbul when he labeled Israel as an "occupying state" and defended Hamas as "not a terrorist organization."

Erdogan's comments have strained relations further between the two parties. Israel condemned the killing of Israeli civilians in a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, while Erdogan described Hamas militants as "freedom fighters" last week, prompting criticism from several quarters, including Israel.

Unlike many of its allies in NATO and the European Union, as well as some Gulf states, Turkey does not classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Israel–Turkey relations have been historically complex and have fluctuated between close cooperation and deep tensions. Turkey was one of the first Muslim-majority countries to recognize Israel after its independence in 1948, and the two countries established close diplomatic, military, and economic ties in the following decades.

However, relations began to deteriorate in the early 2000s, following the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to power in Turkey. Erdoğan has been a vocal critic of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians, and he has also accused Israel of supporting Kurdish separatists in Turkey. In 2010, relations reached a nadir after Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish civilians on board a ship that was trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

However, there have been some signs of warming between the two countries in recent years. In 2022, Israel and Turkey agreed to restore full diplomatic relations, and the two countries have since exchanged ambassadors.

Despite the recent improvement in relations, there remain some significant challenges. Turkey continues to criticize Israel's policies towards the Palestinians, and Israel remains concerned about Turkey's support for Hamas and other Islamist groups. Additionally, the two countries have different views on several regional issues, such as the Syrian civil war and the status of Jerusalem.

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