Turkey, Israel publicly humiliate each others envoys during diplomatic expulsions

Turkey, Israel publicly humiliate each others envoys during diplomatic expulsions
A war-of-words between Turkey's Erdogan and Israel's Netanyahu has led to a tit-for-tat diplomatic battle between two countries with expelled envoys publicly humiliated.
2 min read
16 May, 2018
Turkish media watched on as Israel's envoy got lengthy security checks at Istanbul airport [Getty]
A diplomatic feud between Turkey and Israel over the massacre of Gaza protesters this week, took another turn on Wednesday, as the two countries attempted to publicly humiliate each other's envoys in front crowds of reporters.

Turkey subjected Israeli ambassador Eitan Naeh to a lengthy security check at Istanbul's airport, after he was told by Ankara to leave the country due to the killing of 61 protesters in Gaza.

Turkish press were reportedly invited to watch and film Naeh as he was told to remove his shoes for a security screening and had his hands tested for traces of explosives.

His diplomatic status would normally allow him to bypass such processes.

Israel retaliated in a similar fashion with the foreign ministry summoning the Turkish charge d'affaires in Israel, Umut Deniz, to its headquarters, with press on hand to capture his entrance for a dressing down.

There he was reprimanded for what it called "inappropriate treatment" of Naeh as he departed Istanbul airport, it said in a statement.

The statement added that Naeh was subjected to "a stringent security check in the pre-arranged presence of the Turkish media". 

Security forces reportedly subjected the diplomat to stringent identity checks in front of the media.

The airport debacle comes after the Israeli consul in Istanbul was ordered to leave the country by Turkish authorities.

Ankara has expressed public outrage over the killing of at least 61 Palestinians at the Gaza border, by Israeli forces on Monday.

Turkey had already withdrawn its ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations and told the Israeli ambassador to Ankara to leave.

Israel ordered the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to leave for an unspecified period of time.

On Tuesday, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu exchanged bitter jibes on Twitter.

The diplomatic row threatens a 2016 deal on normalising ties between the two countries after a long-running diplomatic crisis.

Read more: No Israelis were harmed in the making of this massacre

Erdogan this week has accused Israel of "genocide" and told Netanyahu he is leading an "apartheid state" with "the blood of Palestinians" on his hands.

Netanyahu meanwhile told Erdogan that as a leading supporter of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and that "there's no doubt he's an expert on terror and slaughter".

In a tweet titled "Reminder to Netanyahu", Erdogan then denied that Hamas is a terror group.

"[Hamas are a] resistance movement that defends the Palestinian homeland against an occupying power," he fired back.

Turkey and Israel cut diplomatic relations in 2010 following the killing by Israeli commandos of ten Turkish activists on a freedom flotilla to Gaza.