Livni: Government at fault for crash in Ankara relations

Opposition leader says Turkey recognizes Israel’s weakness; Israel Beiteinu MK calls for tourist boycott of Turkey.

September 5, 2011 17:39
1 minute read.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) criticized the government's handling of the diplomatic crisis with Ankara on Monday, following reports that Israeli tourists were detained at the airport in Turkey.

"Turkey recognizes Israel's weakness and is allowing itself to behave as never before," Livni said at a conference on regional cooperation.

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"I've had many meetings with Erdogan, but even then, in difficult situations, we were able to recruit Turkey to our side," she explained.

“Our reaction to the flotilla was justified, as is the naval blockade [on Gaza],” the Kadima leader added, “but arresting or detaining Israeli citizens in the airport in Turkey is unacceptable.”

Livni warned that relations with Turkey could further deteriorate, saying that “this will not end with just detainments in the airport.

“Games of musical chairs will not fix this relationship, and Israel must repair it,” she added. “We cannot accept this government’s statement that this inevitable. I was there, and it is not necessarily inevitable.”

Livni explained that Israel is “in a dangerous, unprecedented situation. Israel is isolated and is paying the price.”

Also on Monday, Israel Beiteinu MK Moshe Matalon called for Israeli tourists to boycott Turkey.

“The humiliation that Israeli tourists experienced today in Istanbul shows Israeli citizens once and for all that they are no longer wanted in Turkey and that the policies of the Erdogan government towards Israel have already been internalized by Turkish citizens,” Matalon said.

“Israeli tourists have enough places in Israel and around the world to visit where they are welcomed,” he added. “If the Turkish don’t want us, they won’t get us.”

Matalon plans to open a Facebook page to support his initiative, which he has asked the public to “like.”

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