An Israeli news crew reporting from Taksim Square in Istanbul was attacked by a crowd when a passerby heard them speaking in Hebrew.

Turkish flag at half-mast, Turkish Embassy Tel Aviv

Turkish flag at half-mast, Turkish Embassy Tel Aviv Photo Credit: Miriam Alster, Flash90

Reporters with Israel’s Hadashot News were interviewing people in Taksim Square in Istanbul, a tourist hub in the center of the city, when one man stopped next to them when he recognized that they were speaking in Hebrew. He reportedly began screaming “murderers, murderers” and a crowd of about 20 people began to gather around them.

One man then began physically assaulting one of the members of the crew, who at that point managed to escape to safety. Turkish Police officers arrived shortly thereafter and accompanied the news crew to a nearby hospital before taking their testimony. “In a sense, the incident symbolizes the atmosphere here in Istanbul,” one of the reporters reflected. 

Erdoğan, Netanyahu

Erdoğan, Netanyahu Photo credit: Kremlin/GPO

Indeed, diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel have reached their lowest point since the 2016 reconciliation agreement; Turkey was the first country to recall its ambassador to Israel over what it called Israel’s ‘genocide’ in Gaza. Consuls to both countries have since been expelled.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded via Twitter by attacking Erdoğan as one of “Hamas’s [sic] biggest supporters” and the two have been exchanges insults over Twitter ever since. 

Erdoğan has reportedly met with anti-Zionist Jews with the Neturei Karta, and has been encouraging Turks to go out into the streets in protest against Israel. As reported earlier by JOL, Turkish opposition members have also been calling on Erdoğan to nullify the 2016 reconcilition agreement between the two countries.