'Israel could lose Turkey's friendship'

Erdogan slams Netanyahu for “climate of mistrust” that is undermining ties.

Turkey PM Erdogan 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Turkey PM Erdogan 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Turkish Prime Minister RecepTayyip Erdoğan said Israel “should give some thought to what itwould be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future,” in aninterview with the Euronews channel.

Wehave important ongoing agreements between us. How can theseagreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust? I think Israelhad better take another look at its relations with its neighbours ifit believes it is a world power,” Erdoğan said in the interview onSaturday.

TheTurkish premier said that the humiliation of TurkishAmbassador to Israel Oguz Celikkolby Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon had “no place ininternational politics.”

Earlierin January, Aylaon called Celikkol in for a public dressing down overa Turkish television show that depicted Mossad agents as babysnatchers. At that meeting Ayalon instructed the camera crews, inHebrew and in the ambassador's presence, not to film them shakinghands, to show that the Turkish envoy was sitting on a lower sofa, toshow that there was only an Israeli flag on the table, and not tofilm them smiling.

Erdoğan also criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for saying that hetrusted French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and not Erdogan, to serveas an unbiased mediator in peace talks with Syria. “This isdiplomatic inexperience, too,” Erdogan said of the prime minister'sstatement, “Because when you say this… How can I trust you if yousay you don’t trust me?”

When asked by Euronews if Turkey could have handled relations withIsrael more diplomatically, Ergodan answered that “I am telling thetruth…And I will keep telling the truth.”

The Turkish premier reiterated allegations against Israel overOperation Cast Lead and the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

“When innocent civilians are ruthlessly killed, struck byphosphorus bombs, infrastructure is demolished in bombing and peopleare forced to live in an open-air prison… we can not see this ascompatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, simplyhuman rights, and we can not close our eyes to all this happening,” Erdoğan said.