Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Official: Turkey to expel 3 Israeli diplomats as region deteriorates

In a further escalation of tensions between Israel and Turkey, at least three Israeli diplomats are being expelled from the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Israeli officials said Wednesday.

The Israeli consulate, however, appears to be unaffected by the Turkish downgrade of diplomatic relations with Israel.

"Consulates and embassies are not in the same status," said Ohad Kaynar of the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. "There are treaties that define what consulates are supposed to do. The personnel that are being expelled are from the embassy. As of now, we have not heard anything from the Turkish foreign ministry regarding expulsion of any of the consulate personnel."

On Tuesday, Turkey's fiery prime minister compared Ankara's once-close ally in the Middle East to a "spoiled boy" and announced additional sanctions would soon be imposed. more