If Israel were to violate Turkish airspace in order to conduct reconnaissance operations on Iran, Ankara's reaction would resemble an "earthquake," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with Egyptian journalist Fahmi Huwaidi published Thursday morning.
Responding to a question concerning rumors that Israel had entered Turkey's airspace for espionage purposes, Erdogan said that such a thing had never happened, but that the consequences would be dire if it did.
"[Israel] will receive a response equal to that of an earthquake," he cautioned, urging Israel's leaders to refrain from "using the relationship they have with [Turkey] as a card to wage aggression on a third party."
Ankara would not be a neutral party and stand aside with its arms folded, he said.
Erdogan also alluded during the interview to last winter's Operation Cast Lead, saying that Israel could not reasonably have expected to participate in a joint military drill with Turkey after "sweeping" the people of Gaza.
He stressed that the Turkish government's policy on Israel was both derived from and backed by the country's voting public.
"We cannot challenge the feelings of the Turkish people, who were greatly affected by what happened during the aggression on Gaza," he said.