Turkey threat to recall envoy after Ayalon row

By Jessica Elgot, January 13, 2010
Danny Ayalon: made Turkish envoy sit in a low chair

Danny Ayalon: made Turkish envoy sit in a low chair

Turkey has threatened to recall its ambassador to Israel after his alleged humiliating reprimand by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

Turkish envoy Ahmet Oguz Celikkol was apparently made to sit in a low chair during his heated discussions with Mr Ayalon, who refused to shake his hand. He was called in after a TV programme aired on Turkish TV which depicted IDF soldiers as brutal killers and babysnatchers.

Mr Ayalon also allegedly told reporters that they should photograph the ambassador sitting in the low chair.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has demanded that Israel issue a formal apology, and threatened to recall Mr Celikkol to Ankara.

Relations between Israel and Turkey have been strained of late, despite Turkey being one of Israel’s few allies in the Muslim world.

Israel’s intervention in Gaza nearly a year ago led to a sharp response from Turkey: Prime Minister Recep Erdogan publicly challenged Israeli President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in January.

In October, the Israelis were angry at being excluded by Turkey from a joint military exercise with Nato.

Last updated: 4:38pm, January 14 2010