FADC chairman Hanegbi calls Turkey's cancellation of joint drill troubling

FADC chairman Hanegbi ca

Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi called Turkey's cancellation of a joint military exercise a "troubling" phenomena. Citing the victory of the Islamic Movement in Turkish elections and Ankara's harsh criticism of Israel for Operation Cast Lead, he told Army Radio that there had been "cracks" in relations between the two countries over the last few years. However, he said that things needed to be "kept in proportion," stressing that there was no "cutoff" in Jerusalem-Ankara ties and that Israel must ensure that "the issue doesn't escalate." Turkey informed Israel on Thursday that it would not allow the IAF to participate in the annual Anatolian Eagle exercise out of concern that the aircraft Israel planned to send had participated in bombing runs against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. As a result, the United States and Italy also dropped out of the exercise.