World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it summoned the highest-ranking Israeli diplomat in Ankara to explain why a group of Turkish journalists and civil society workers were refused entry atBen Gurion Airport.
Ties between the erstwhile allies were wrecked after Israeli commandoes killed 10 Turkish activists trying to break the blockade on Gaza in 2010. Turkey soon after recalled its ambassador and ejected Israel's.
They were questioned for nine hours and, despite having the required visas, seven of them were sent back. Two journalists with the state TRT broadcaster were allowed in, it said, condemning the decision to eject the group.
"To show our reaction to the treatment of our citizens and to receive an explanation, the Israeli charge d'affaires has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry," it said. The charge d'affaires is Israel's most senior official at the embassy.
Some Israeli media said the seven Turks were suspected of ties with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
President Tayyip Erdogan is one of Israel's most vocal critics. The June 7 election deprived his AK Party of its majority in parliament for the first time since 2002, which may pave the way for reconciliation withIsrael.