Israel says sorry to Turkey

By Sami Kohen, February 26, 2009
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Apologised: Gen Gabi Ashkenazi

Apologised: Gen Gabi Ashkenazi

Israel has formally apologised to Turkey for sentiments expressed by the Israeli ground forces commander, General Avi Mizrachi, in response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s verbal attack on Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Davos conference.

“Erdogan should look into the mirror,” said General Mizrachi, referring to the Turkish killings of Armenians in 1915 and the more recent suppression of Kurds in eastern Turkey.

Mr Erdogan had told Mr Peres during a debate on the Gaza operations that: “You know well how to kill,” resulting in further diplomatic tension between Ankara and Jerusalem.

The Israeli chief of staff, General Gabi Ashkenazi, called his Turkish counterpart, General Ilker Basbug, to express his regret and said that he had repriminded General Mizrachi for the statement.

This week a formal apology was made to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, emphasising the importance that Israel attaches to its relations with Turkey.

Last updated: 1:27pm, February 26 2009