Turkish government, opposition spat over Israel crisis

September 8, 2011 11:22

Opposition leader says Erdoğan blunders led to UN legitimization of Gaza blockade, US radar in Turkey will be used to protect Israel.

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Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister

Tayyip Erdogan 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

The Turkish government and opposition exchanged criticism over Turkey's handling of deteriorating relations with Israel on Wednesday, with the opposition claiming that Erdoğan's administration had led to UN legitimization of Israel's naval blockade on Gaza and a blow to Turkish prestige.

Turkey will defend its honor against Israel regardless of the cost, responded Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan according to the Turkish daily Hurriyet.

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"Whatever the cost, be it 15 million dollars, or 150 million dollars... Turkey will not give value to that when necessary. What matters for us is to not let anyone trample on our honor," Erdoğan vowed.

Turkey's opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) also dismissed the recent downgrade in Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations, saying that they "have no function other than deceiving the Turkish people," and claiming that the US radar to be placed in Turkey will be used to protect Israel.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has also criticized the opposition leader, according to Today's Zaman. Davutoğlu on Wednesday said that Kılıçdaroğlu comments would be more fitting from an Israeli official at a press conference..

The minister also advised the CHP to learn solidarity with the government from the main opposition party in Israel.

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