News / Europe

Israeli Defense Minister Visits Turkey to Mend Fences

Last week, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister intentionally humiliated Turkey's ambassador over a television program unfavorable to Israel

Robert Berger

A senior Israeli official visited Turkey amid strained relations between the two regional allies.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Turkey's foreign and defense ministers in Ankara to try and mend fences.  The two nations have close strategic ties, but relations have plummeted since the Gaza War a year ago, when Turkey accused Israel of using excessive force against the Palestinians.

Turkey has frequently criticized Israel since then, and last week Israel issued a strong protest over a program on Turkish television which showed Israeli agents kidnapping children and shooting old men.  A previous program showed Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian woman and children.  The programs seem to reflect popular sentiment in predominately Muslim Turkey.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was outraged. "We will not tolerate any anti-Semitic remarks and incitement against the Jews or the State of Israel," he said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon summoned the Turkish ambassador, who was publicly humiliated.  The ambassador was forced to sit on a low sofa without a handshake, while Ayalon explained before the TV cameras that the humiliation was intentional.  Turkey was furious; and fearing that relations could be permanently damaged, Israel apologized.

Lieberman says it is time to move on. "We are not interested in confronting or arguing with Turkey.  We have had good relations with Turkey for many years and I hope that we can come back to the normal relations between (the) two countries," he said.

Israel is also concerned that Turkey has been warming up to two of the Jewish state's most bitter enemies: Syria and Iran.

At the same time, Turkey has a strong interest in military ties with Israel.  During his visit to Ankara, Defense Minister Barak discussed a $190-million sale of Israeli-made drones to Turkey.  The unmanned aircraft will enable the Turkish military to spy on Kurdish guerrilla strongholds in northern Iraq.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid