Israel issues second apology to Turkey after ambassador humiliation
Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon sent a letter of apology Wednesday night to the Turkish ambassador to Tel Aviv, after he had subjected him to "humiliating" treatment during a meeting in Jerusalem on Monday. According to Israeli press reports, the letter was issued at the culmination of day-long consultations between Ankara and Tel Aviv, made after the Turks announced that Ayalon's first apology was insufficient, and israel vowed no second apology would be made.
In the letter, Ayalon writes that the disagreements between Turkey and Israel should be sorted out through the proper channels, and that there was no intention to offend the ambassador.
Earlier, Turkey rejected the first Israeli apology for the humiliation of its ambassador to Tel Aviv, escalating the crisis between the two sides. The Turkish media reported Wednesday that Ankara was set to recall its ambassador to Israel. Earlier this week, Israel summoned the Turkish envoy Oguz Celikkol and made him to stand waiting in the corridor before a meeting with Ayalon.
Israel's second most senior diplomat told cameras to show how the ambassador had been made to sit on a sofa, on a lower level to the chairs the Israelis sat on. Only the Israeli flag was in the room. Asked to shake hands with the ambassador, Ayalon refused.
Turkey demanded an explanation and apology. On Wednesday morning Ayalon issued a statement, offering an apology to Ankara. But Turkey's President Abdullah Gul has now indicated Israel's concessions are inadequate. He has reportedly told Israel that its government must 'make up' for the insulting treatment of its ambassador or he will be recalled.