Turkish Embassy in London

News from the Turkish Foreign Ministry

Press Release Regarding The Statement Of The Israeli Foreign Ministry , 12.01.2010

We deeply regret the statements by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel in response to our criticisms and warnings regarding Israeli actions against Palestine.

Turkish foreign policy towards the region aims, in letter and spirit, at achieving peace, security and stability of all countries and peoples. To this end, it emphasizes the need to give priority to dialogue, engagement and peaceful methods as opposed to disproportionate use of force and isolationist practices. Peaceful initiatives taken by our Prime Minister in this respect are being appreciated in the region and beyond, and they are exclusively related with unacceptable policies and actions of Israel towards Gaza.

The deep-rooted relations between Turks and Jews that date further back before the establishment of the State of Israel and the general fabric of Turkish-Israeli relations bestows Turkey with the responsibility to make these warnings and criticisms.

Throughout history, Turks have extended a hand to the Jewish people whenever they were in dire conditions. The long history of coexistence between Turks and Jews is one of mutual respect and tolerance. Therefore, we reject the allegation that “Turkey is the last country that will preach morality to Israel” which does not conform, above all, with the collective memory of the Jewish people. This expression, which distorts facts, constitutes an injustice to history.

On the other hand, the allegations that anti-Semitism is being provoked in Turkey are without any foundation. Our historical record and the statements that have been made by our Prime Minister himself to the effect that anti-Semitism constitutes a crime against humanity are the clearest proofs invalidating such an argument.

We believe that the remarks in the statement of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs emanate from domestic political considerations and thus are of an unwarranted nature. We strongly condemn these remarks.