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Israeli minister dubs Turkish PM `enemy` amid diplomatic row

Last Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 23:09

Jerusalem: A top Israeli minister Sarturday
dubbed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as "enemy",
but said it has no problem with the Turkish people amid a
diplomatic row between the Jewish nation and Ankar over the
bloody raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

"The Turkish people aren`t the enemy, but Erdogan is
Israel`s enemy," Israel`s Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov
said today.

Amid the diplomatic row between Israel and Turkey,
Misezhnikov was responding to the Turkish Premier`s earlier
comments that Ankara`s problem is with the Netanyahu-led
government and not the people in the Jewish nation.

"This isn`t a healthy situation, and unless he
(Erdogan) leaves office there is no room for optimism,"
Misezhnikov was quoted as saying by Ha`aretz newspaper at a
cultural event in the northern town of Bat Yam.

Misezhnikov also indicated that Erdogan isn`t
speaking as a representative of the Turkish people and his
country is divided in its support for him.

Misezhnikov is drawing plans to keep Israeli
travellers inside the country during the summer vacations as
he asked Israelis to refrain from travelling to their
favourite destination Turkey.

Earlier today, Erdogan said that his country did not
have a problem with Israelis but with its government`s
policies, Turkish news agency Andolu reported.

The Turkish premier underlined that his country would
continue to investigate Israel`s attack on the Turkish-flagged
Gaza-bound aid flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, in which nine
Turkish activists were killed.

"We have not remained silent against this piracy and
injustice, and we will not do so, and we will seek solutions
within the framework of international law," Erdogan told
reporters in Ankara.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged
Israel to agree to an international probe of its deadly
commando raid on the Turkish ship trying to bring aid to Gaza
and do "much more" to meet the needs of the Palestinians
living there.

Ban said yesterday that Israel`s investigation of the
May 31 flotilla raid is important but won`t have
"international credibility," which is why he is continuing to
urge the Jewish state to agree to an international panel with
Israeli and Turkish participation.

Under mounting international pressure, Israel last
week formed an internal panel, including two foreign
observers, to investigate events surrounding its May 31
interception of a six ship convoy heading to the Gaza Strip.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 23:09

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