Turkey has ordered the Israeli consul general in Istanbul to return to Israel “for some time”, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said on Wednesday, in a diplomatic spat which follows the killings of 60 Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces.
Turkey has been among the most vocal critics of the Israeli’s use of deadly force against protesters at the Gaza border and of the U.S decision to open its new embassy in a ceremony attended by President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
President Tayyip Erdogan described Monday’s bloodshed as the deadliest for Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza conflict, and called Israel a terrorist state.
The government has declared three days of mourning over the incident.
Turkey has consequently expelled Israel’s ambassador and recalled its ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington. It has equally called for an emergency meeting of Islamic nations on Friday.
Israel has equally expelled the Turkish consul-general in Jerusalem, and Erdogan exchanged heated words on Twitter with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the Turkish Consul-General in Jerusalem had been summoned and told to return to Turkey “for consultations for a period of time.”
The dispute appears to mark the worst diplomatic crisis between the two regional powers.