Erdogan slams Israel for violating Lebanese airspace, bombing Gaza
|Thursday, January 14,2010 23:04|
ISTANBUL, (PIC)-- Turkish premier Recep Erdogan strongly denounced Israel for not respecting the UN resolutions and its persistence in violating the Lebanese airspace and territorial waters, and bombing the Gaza Strip.
In a news conference held in Ankara in the presence of his Lebanese counterpart Saad Al-Hariri, Erdogan accused Israel of threatening international peace.
“We can never remain silent in the face of Israel's attitude … It has disproportionate power and it is using that at will while refusing to abide by U.N. resolutions. We can never accept this picture," Erdogan said. "These steps threaten global peace."
He also slammed Israel for killing three Palestinians during an air strike on Gaza Sunday.
“What is your excuse this time? Do you claim that they fire rockets? We are watching the situation and there was no rocket firing,” the Turkish premier underlined.
The premier called for reforming the UN because of its failure to enforce its resolutions and make Israel respect them.
Commenting on the American threats against Iran, the premier said, “The region cannot accept a new Iraq syndrome. Turkey has long defended Iran's right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful use.”
"Those who are warning Iran over nuclear weapons are not making the same warnings to Israel," Erdogan said. "The five permanent members of the security council must be just. Israel has not denied the existence of its nuclear arsenal; on the contrary it has admitted it."
“Those member countries have to warn Israel and condemn it for having weapons of mass destruction,” he added.
The Israeli foreign ministry, for its part, lashed out at Erdogan’s remarks, saying that his public acrimonious criticism of Israel’s policies could jeopardize bilateral relations.
In a related development, Israeli deputy minister of foreign affairs Danny Ayalon on Monday summoned Turkish ambassador to Israel Ahmed Celikkol to protest a new Turkish television series illustrating Israelis as war criminals.
Israeli media outlets said that the series titled the “Valley of the Wolves” shows Mossad agents attacking the Turkish embassy in Israel and taking the ambassador and his family hostage.
Ayalon said that this series, which took place against the background of anti-Israel remarks made by senior officials in Turkey, does not only harm the mutual relations, but also endanger Israelis in Turkey.
Israel issued a similar protest last October when another Turkish series showed Israeli soldiers shooting young Palestinian children in cold blood.