Links with Turkey plunge after envoy is kicked out

RELATIONS between Israel and Turkey plummeted on Wednesday with acts of humiliation against each other’s diplomats.

Turkey started the undiplomatic duel — over the rioting at Gaza’s border fence — by kicking Israel’s ambassador Eitan Naeh out of the country.

And then Ankara invited photographers to film the envoy undergo an intense security check before boarding the plane back to Israel.

Naeh was denied access to the VIP lounge at Istanbul airport, bodily searched and told to take off his shoes.

Jerusalem responded by inviting the press to cover the No 2 at the Turkish embassy, Umut Deniz, being asked for his documents by a security guard before being reprimanded for Turkey’s treatment of Naeh.

Relations plunged even further when Israel was reported to have rejected a request from Turkey to send a plane to airlift Palestinians wounded in the Gaza riots.

Israel’s Channel 10 news said that Turkey sent the request via international medical organisations, asking for permission to send a plane to Ben Gurion airport and take wounded Palestinians back to Turkey for treatment.

But the request was denied for “political and security reasons”.

“We made it clear that there was no need to fly injured Palestinians to Turkey and we offered alternative solutions,” senior officials told Channel 10.

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