Turkey gives Israeli diplomats two days to leave country

[ 06/09/2011 – 10:20 AM ]

ANKARA, (PIC)– The Turkish Foreign Ministry has given all high-ranking Israeli diplomats until Wednesday to leave the country as Turkey has reduced its diplomatic ties with Israel to the level of second secretary, the lowest ranking level in foreign relations.

According to Israeli Radio on Monday, among the Israeli diplomats expelled in response to Tel Aviv’s refusal to apologize over Israel’s 2010 Gaza flotilla attack that left nine Turks dead, were the Israeli ambassador, the second secretary, the consul, and the military attache. However, the Israeli consulate was allowed to remain.

In a similar move, sources in Israel said Israel will expel three of Turkeys top diplomats.

Last week, Turkey decided to expel Israel’s ambassador and further reduce diplomatic relations with Israel after Israel refused Turkey’s demands following Israel’s attack on a flotilla designed to defy Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Also as a sanction, Turkey has decided to take Israel to the International Court of Justice to challenge its siege on Gaza and to try some of the soldiers and officers involved in the flotilla attack.

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