'Diplomats' families to leave Turkey'

Israeli mission will reportedly remain despite protests.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 2, 2010 10:17
1 minute read.
Protesters burn a representation of former prime m

Turkey protest fire 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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The Foreign Ministry has ordered the families of its diplomats in Turkey to leave the country because of the uproar over Monday's naval raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Israeli media outlets reported Wednesday.

The diplomatic mission itself will remain in Turkey, Israel Radio reported.

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A Foreign Ministry spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the reports, and The Jerusalem Post could not immediately verify the information.

The reports came as former prime minister Ehud Olmert called for a "rehabilitation" of ties with Ankara, despite fiery opposition from the once close Middle East ally.

As early as Monday, just hours after the raid, Israel’s top officials began working to quell worldwide censure against the operation, in which nine activists were killed.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cut short his visit to North America and canceled his much-anticipated meeting with US President Barack Obama to head back to Israel, while the UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting in New York.



Israeli ambassadors around the world were called by their host governments to explain the incident. The Foreign Ministry, in turn, held a briefing with all ambassadors posted in Israel.

“It’s a big diplomatic crisis,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post. “We are working in emergency mode.”

On Monday, Turkey recalled its ambassador and canceled three joint military exercises with Israel.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report

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