Peres depicted bowing to Erdogan

Israel shrugs off massive banner unfurled near Istanbul.

February 23, 2010 03:53
1 minute read.
Turkish poster shows Peres bowing to Erdogan

erdogan peres poster 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Israel is turning a blind eye to a huge poster showing President Shimon Peres seemingly bowing to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was unfurled from a crane in an Istanbul suburb on Sunday.

Neither the President’s Residence nor the Foreign Minister would comment on the poster, which superimposed an image of a bowing Peres in front of Erdogan, over the caption “Erdogan, a leader whom the world bows down to.”

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While at first glance this seemed to be Turkish retribution for the public hazing of Turkey’s ambassador to Israel in January, when Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon sat him on a lower chair and reprimanded him over an anti-Semitic television show broadcast in Turkey, the Turkish press reported that Erdogan’s office had the poster taken down before Erdogan appeared at the site to inaugurate a new road network.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the poster, with some diplomatic officials in Jerusalem saying it obviously came from the top, while others said it was quite possible that this was an independent act of protest that was not choreographed by the government.

One diplomatic official in Jerusalem termed the incident “scandalous,” saying that it demonstrated a great deal of disrespect both for Peres and for Israel.

Relations between Erdogan and Peres reached a nadir in January 2009, after Operation Cast Lead, when the two had an angry exchange at the World Economic Forum in Davos, with Erdogan at one point storming off the stage after telling Peres, “When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill.”

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais that was published Monday, Erdogan said that the Davos incident – which made him a hero in much of the Arab world – ushered in a new Turkish approach to foreign policy.

“That opened a new approach to foreign relations,” he said. “We have a philosophy of strength. It is a foreign policy with a backbone.”

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