Davutoglu 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Osman Orsal)
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday said that Israel's diplomatic presence in Turkey was being cut to second secretary level, effectively expelling Israeli diplomats after
details emerged of the Palmer Report which dealt with the IDF raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara ship.
"Turkey-Israel diplomatic relations have been reduced to a second secretary level. All personnel above the second secretary level will return to their countries by Wednesday at the latest," Davutoglu told a news conference.
Foreign Ministry preparing for release of Palmer Report
'Turkey may cut economic ties over 'Marmara' apology'
Davutoglu said that Turkey was also suspending military agreements after
he said that some of the report's findings were unacceptable.
The report concluded that Israel faces "a real threat to its security
from militant groups in Gaza. The naval blockade was imposed as a
legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering
Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of
the same time, the 105-page report also said that "Israel's decision to
board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from
the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the
boarding was excessive and unreasonable."
Before The New York Times
published the report, Davutoglu warned
that if Israel did not apologize for the incident by the time the report
was formally released, Turkey would "put Plan B into play."
Plan B refers to a threat made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan last month that if Israel did not apologize, Turkey would
further downgrade ties with Israel and aggressively oppose it in
international forums. The Turks have also threatened to cut economic
ties as part of a "Plan B."