New envoy in Ankara unlikely until Turks send diplomat

J'lem sources: "We want to make sure there'll be no embarrassments"; fear new envoy's credentials wouldn't be accepted by Turkish gov't.

April 21, 2011 01:14
2 minute read.
Turkish workers in Tel Aviv protesting tensions

Turkish workers in Tel Aviv protesting tensions 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


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Israel does not intend to replace its envoy to Turkey at the end of his tenure in the summer, until the Turks send back an ambassador to Tel Aviv, government sources told The Jerusalem Post.

Gaby Levy was appointed in 2006, and his tenure was already extended once so that the embassy in Ankara would not be without an ambassador. But, the sources said, Levy will be returning to Israel in the summer, and no one has been appointed in his place.

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The sources said there was concern in Jerusalem that if Israel were to appoint a replacement, the new envoy’s credentials would not be accepted by the Turkish government.

“We want to make sure there will be no embarrassments,” one source said.

The sources said a good indication that it would be safe for Israel to send a new envoy to Ankara would be if Turkey sent its envoy back to Israel.

Turkish ambassador Ahmet Oguz Celikkol was recalled last spring – immediately following the Mavi Marmara incident in which nine Turks were killed by IDF commandos who were attacked upon boarding the ship to keep it from sailing to the Gaza Strip.

Turkey has said it would only send back its envoy to Israel after Jerusalem apologized for the incident and paid compensation to the family of the victims – something Israel said it will not do.

Meanwhile, the Jordanian Embassy has also been without an ambassador for over a year. No replacement was named for Ali Ayad, who was appointed Jordan’s minister of information and communications in July.

Government sources said Jordan’s failure to appoint another ambassador up until now was a reflection of concern that naming a new ambassador would create domestic problems for King Abdullah II.

Despite the revolution in Egypt, however, Cairo still has Ambassador Yasser Reda posted here.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, sent a Pessah greeting to the Jewish citizens of Turkey, stating that, “Turkey enjoys an environment of tolerance, where peoples of all faiths, religions and cultures have coexisted in peace for centuries.”

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