'Martyr' cry as Marmara docks

By Sami Kohen, December 29, 2010

A large crowd waving Turkish and Palestinian flags and chanting anti-Israeli slogans welcomed the Mavi Marmara, the Gaza-bound ship on which nine Turkish nationals died after a clash with Israeli commandos last May, as she docked at Istanbul port on Saturday.

The crowd included close relatives and friends of those who were killed, and a ceremony at was held the port to venerate the nine "martyrs", as they are widely known in Turkey.


Oil sparks new Israel-Turkey crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

A new agreement on exploration rights at sea between Israel and Cyprus has once again pushed Israel's relationship with Turkey into a diplomatic crisis. Meanwhile, the talks to end the impasse over Israel's apology for the incident of the Gaza flotilla have bogged down.

Three weeks ago, Turkey's willingness to help Israel fight the blaze on Mount Carmel, signalled by sending two fire-fighting aircraft to battle the flames, gave hope that the stormy relations between the two nations - not long ago strategic allies - could be on the mend.


Turkish aid for forest fire brings diplomatic thaw

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 9, 2010

The aid sent by the Turkish government to help fight the blaze on Mount Carmel offered an opportunity to improve the relations between the two countries.

In the wake of the fire, discussions took place this week over an Israeli apology for the Gaza flotilla incident and compensations to the families of nine Turkish citizens killed by Israeli naval commandos.

On Friday, Turkey sent two firefighting planes to take part in the international effort to end the fire on the Carmel at the request of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.


Turkey lists Israel as security 'threat'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

Turkey now regards Israel as a "major threat" to its security.

According to Turkish newspapers, the country's National Security Council made the assessment last week in its new five-yearly strategic report.

The security agency took four of the country's neighbours, Syria, Bulgaria, Armenia and Georgia, off the list. Greece, which recently began carrying out joint military exercises with Israel, remains on the threat list.


Turkey trip for fast-track young leaders

By Katie Taylor, October 21, 2010

Jewish Child's Day has joined forces with UJIA and youth movement Hanoar Hatzioni to launch a fast-track leadership programme for teenagers featuring a generous measure of Turkish delight.

Aimed at 16- and 17-year-olds, the nationwide programme will include monthly seminars and cover financial planning, budgeting, PR and management skills.

"These are important skills which can help teenagers not only in their future careers, but at A-level and university level as well," said JCD executive director Daniel Burger.


Jewish billionaire: sex-scandal is Turkish plot

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

A senior figure in the World Jewish Congress has accused Turkey of an anti-Israel smear campaign after it was alleged that he had been involved in a prostitution scandal.

Alexander Machkevtich, the billionaire head of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, had been linked in Turkish news reports to a raid of a yacht last month after which police took two underage prostitutes into custody.


Turkish Tesco offers Nazi bargain

By Jennifer Lipman, September 26, 2010

A British tourist has expressed his surprise at finding Nazi helmets on sale in a supermarket owned by Tesco.

Cambridge resident Lee Gillett came across the “black Nazi helmets” – on sale for just £8.50” – in a store in a Turkish seaside resort.

The helmets were being sold at a Kipa supermarket in the town of Bodrum. The Kipa chain was bought by Tesco in 2003.

Tesco, founded in 1919 by Jewish businessman Jack Cohen, started as a stall at Well Street Market in Hackney. The first Tesco store opened 13 years later in Burnt Oak.


Anti-Israel flotilla thriller for Turkey

By Sami Kohen, September 16, 2010

An anti-Israeli movie featuring a Turkish agent avenging the killing of the nine Turks aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla in May will be shown in Turkish cinemas next month.

The Valley of the Wolves - Palestine is a follow-up to the movie The Valley of the Wolves - Iraq, which three years ago showed a Turkish agent fighting the US occupation forces in Iraq. At the time, the film caused considerable tension between the US and Turkey and was seen as one reason for the growing anti-Americanism in Turkey.


Embassy gunman threatens to 'kill any Jew'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 17, 2010

A Palestinian man has broken into the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv and is threatening to kill any Jew who enters the building.

It is believed two people are being held hostage inside the embassy on Hayarkon Street by Nadim Injaz, a Palestinian from Ramallah. One person, thought to be Injaz, has been shot and injured.

Israel Radio said that rescue workers attempted to enter the building but did not bring anyone out.

Injaz was arrested in 2006 after an eight-hour standoff at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, during which he wielded a plastic gun. Nobody was injured in that incident.


Netanyahu in Athens to build Greek-Israel ties

By Jennifer Lipman, August 16, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived in Athens for a historic visit to Greece to discuss military cooperation, trade and tourism.

According to a top Israeli official, the prime minister’s two-day trip is a sign of “new warmth in Israeli-Greek relations".

Greece has only had diplomatic ties with Israel for 20 years and this is the first time an Israeli prime minister has officially visited the country.