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Turkey tells Israeli envoy to leave over Gaza deaths

AFP  |  Ankara 

today told the Israeli to temporarily leave after reacted with outrage to the killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli troops on the border, in the worst crisis since a 2016 reconciliation deal.

was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry and told to "return to his country for a period of time", said a foreign ministry official, who asked not to be named.

The said that this was also in line with recalling its to for consultations.

Naeh had been in his post only since December 2016 after a reconciliation deal earlier that year ended a dispute over the May 2010 deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos that saw ties downgraded for over half a decade.

That deal was strongly backed by the United States, which was keen to see make up with one of its very few key Muslim partners.

has reacted with fury to the killing on Monday of 60 Palestinians in clashes and protests, on the same day as the US formally moved its embassy in to from

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, currently on a visit to Britain, had on Monday stepped up his rhetoric, accusing of of "state terror" and "genocide" over the killings.

then hit back at Erdogan, saying that as a leading supporter of Palestinian Islamist group "there's no doubt he's an expert on terror and slaughter."

While under Erdogan has never completely severed ties with Israel, the Turkish strongman has also never shied away from the strongest criticism.

He famously walked out of a January 2009 debate in with then Israeli Shimon Peres, complaining he was not given enough time to respond and repeatedly saying "one minute".

Turkey on Tuesday began observing three days national mourning declared by Erdogan for the Palestinian dead, with flags flying at half mast and cultural events cancelled. had earlier urged Islamic countries to review their ties with Israel and said was calling an extraordinary summit of the world's main pan-Islamic body, the (OIC), on Friday.

"The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre," he added.

Cavusoglu held with around a dozen counterparts from the Islamic world.

They included the foreign ministers of Jordan, and as well as the OIC Yousef bin Ahmad al-Othaimeen, foreign ministry sources said. Erdogan regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and last year hosted an OIC summit in to denounce US Donald Trump's decision to recognise as Israel's capital.

The summit declared East -- which the international community regards as annexed by Israel -- "as the capital of the State of Palestine" and urged the world to follow suit.

Yildirim said that after the summit at 3:00 pm (1200 GMT) a giant rally would be held at the vast Yenikapi meeting area in under the slogan of "Stop the Oppression" to express solidarity with the Palestinians. Hundreds of people also held protests for a second day in and Ankara against Israel's actions with slogans including "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine", AFP correspondents said.

The demonstrations in Turkey passed off peacefully, although one man was arrested in Ankara for throwing eggs and stones at the residence of the Israeli ambassador. In Istanbul, demonstrators held placards with the slogan "the world is bigger than five", in reference to Erdogan's repeated complaints about the power of the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 20:55 IST
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