Israel fears Turkey's "shift towards Iran"
Xinhua / David Harris

JERUSALEM, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Israel is concerned that for more than a year Turkey has been moving closer to Iran, an unnamed official in Israeli Prime Minister's Office told Xinhua on Wednesday.

    However, some analysts argue that the deterioration of the bilateral relations is much of a result of Israel's military campaign in and around Gaza exactly one year ago and the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, instead of the Iran element.

    These comments came in the wake of the latest diplomatic row between Israel and Ankara over a TV program broadcast on a private Turkish channel that Israel deems to be anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli.

    Israel's Foreign Ministry very publicly summoned and humiliated the Turkish Ambassador to Israel Ahmet Oguz Celikkol, leaving Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan fuming. Since the Gaza conflict, Erdogan has led the Turkish protests against Israel's actions.

    Israel later offered Turkey an official apology over the treatment of its envoy.


    The official in the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who required remaining anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, stressed that the move by Ankara towards Tehran began prior to the Gaza war.

    Yet the idea that relations were in decline before the outbreak of fighting in Gaza is dismissed by Alon Liel, Israel's former ambassador to Turkey and... >>>

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