Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon whose ill-treatment of Turkish Ambassador in Tel Aviv Zeki Celikkol angered Turkey, said his intention was "not to insult the ambassador."
Ayalon who summoned Celikkol Tuesday to express Israel's uneasiness over a Turkish TV-series showing Israeli agents kidnapping a child, had Celikkol sit at a lower armchair in front of a table with only the Israeli flag on it, refusing to shake his hand in front of the press.
Ayalon's snub violating all diplomatic manners drew strong reaction from Turkish officials. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said no one could dare to disrespect a Turkish ambassador, expressing Turkey's expectance from Israel to stick to diplomatic rules.
Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli Ambassador in Ankara Gabby Levy and gave a protest note. Turkish Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying Turkey expected an apology from Israel.
Ayalon who did not make the apology Turkey expected, issued a statement late mid-night saying he did not intend to insult the ambassador but only meant to protest Turkey's "anti-Israeli attitude". He promised to employ more diplomatic means against ambassadors in the future.
The incident came after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's criticism of Israeli offensive in Gaza by violating the UN resolutions at a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri the same day in Ankara.
In response to Erdogan's remarks, Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Israel respected Turkey and was interested in continued normal relations between the two states but expected the Turkish side to reciprocate with a similar approach towards Israel.
Related news reports:Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Ocak 2010, 11:22