Turkey expelled Israel’s Consul General only a day after returning the Israeli ambassador in Ankara. The relations between Turkey and Israel are in the biggest crisis since they were renewed in 2016 as part of the reconciliation agreement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Photo Credit: Kremlin

Only a day after expelling the Israeli ambassador from Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that Israel’s Consul General in Istanbul, Yossi Levi Sfari, was asked to temporarily return to Israel.

Following the incidents along the border of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador to Ankara for an unspecified period of time, prompting Israel to ask the Turkish consul to leave the country.

Turkey announced yesterday the expulsion of the Israeli and US ambassadors and declared three days of mourning following the death of Palestinian rioters along the fence in the Gaza Strip.

Shortly after removing the Israeli ambassador from Ankara on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Israel “an apartheid state” and advised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “read the Ten Commandments” in order to learn about humanity.

“Netanyahu is the prime minister of an apartheid state that has occupied a defenseless people’s land for 60+ years in violation of UN resolutions,” Erdoğan tweeted. “He has the blood of Palestinians on his hands and can’t cover up crimes by attacking Turkey.”

Netanyahu tweeted in response, “Erdoğan is among Hamas’ biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter. I suggest that he not preach morality to us.” He added in Hebrew, “A man who sends thousands of Turkish soldiers to carry out the occupation of Northern Cyprus, and invades Syria, cannot preach to us as we defend ourselves from an attempted invasion by Hamas.”