The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued on Wednesday an official apology to Turkey and its ambassador after Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, Danni Ayalon, insulted him over a Turkish TV Show depicting Israeli agents operating in Ankara.The Ministry added that Israel filed a clear apology to the Turkish government and to ambassador Oguz Celikko after Turkey decided to recall its ambassador.
The Israeli apology was made by the office of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israel’s President, Shimon Peres.
It came shortly after some Israeli officials said that Israel will not apologize to Turkey, and that the apology issued by Israel’s deputy Foreign Minister, Danni Ayalon, is sufficient. Turkey did not accept the apology of Ayalon as it fell short from what was expected.
Netanyahu said that he hopes the official apology would restore the Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations, and added that Israel has the right to object to “Turkish media insults”, but the objection was improper.
On Tuesday night, Ayalon said he did not mean to disrespect the Turkish ambassador, and that in the future he would use a more diplomatically acceptable manner to voice such objections.
But Ayalon never said “sorry” and did not make any direct apology. This issue pushed Turkey to declare its withdrawing of its ambassador by the end of the day on Wednesday should Israel refrain from issuing an official, stringer apology.
Ayalon initially summoned the Turkish ambassador to complain about a popular Turkish TV show, ‘Valley of the Wolves,” reportedly displaying Israeli agents kidnapping Turkish children. On his twitter feed, Ayalon said that the show proves that “anti-Israelism is just another form of anti-Semitism”.
Ayalon made the Turkish ambassador sit on a sofa lower than his chair, and did not display any Turkish flag next to the flag of Israel, which he pointed out in Hebrew to cameramen: ‘Pay attention that he is sitting in a lower chair … that there is only an Israeli flag on the table and that we are not smiling.’
He issued a second apology on Wednesday addressing the Turkish ambassador and telling him that he did not intend to humiliate him personally, and that he apologizes for the way he handled the issue.
Ayalon also asked the ambassador to convey the apology to the Turkish government and people.