Israeli envoy in Turkey pelted with eggs

Israeli ambassador in Tu

November 4, 2009 17:19
1 minute read.

Israeli ambassador to Turkey Gabi Levy was pelted with eggs on Wednesday by Turkish university students, according to various reports. Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that during Levy's visit to the Black Sea Technical University, a group of students congregated around him, shouting slogans such as "Israel's child killers are not wanted in our universities," and hurled eggs into his van until university security personnel intervened. Several students were arrested, and the ambassador was forced to cut short his visit to the institution. The ambassador was slated to speak at the university during a tour of the historic Turkish city of Trabzon. "The people of Israel have a great interest in the [Black Sea] region," Levy was quoted as saying, referring in his speech to the influx of Israeli tourism in the area. Also during Levy's Black Sea visit, the mayor of the coastal city of Rize, Halil Bakirci, criticized Israel's "policy of occupation" and said that Turkey's stance on Israel would "not change as long as it continues," according to a report in Turkish publication Turkiye. Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal called the incident "an unfortunate public disturbance" in an interview with Channel 10 conducted Wednesday. Relations between Israel and Turkey have been strained since October, when Ankara canceled a joint NATO drill in which Israel had been slated to participate, citing claims of war crimes committed during the IDF's Operation Cast Lead last winter. The cancellation was soon followed by the airing of a Turkish television series on a popular state-run channel which depicted IDF soldiers as heartless murderers of women and children. Although Muslim-majority Turkey emerged from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire as the region's only secular republic, the country's current ruling party has clear Islamic leanings.

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