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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Turkey tells Israeli consul in Istanbul to leave temporarily: state media

The announcement is the latest in a series of tit-for-tat expulsions in a growing crisis over Israeli killing of Gazans

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint news conference in London. Mr Erdogan on Tuesday called Israel an "apartheid state" as Ankara ordered the Israeli ambassador to leave. Simon Dawson / EPA
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint news conference in London. Mr Erdogan on Tuesday called Israel an "apartheid state" as Ankara ordered the Israeli ambassador to leave. Simon Dawson / EPA

Turkey has told the Israeli consul general in Istanbul to leave the country temporarily, state media said on Wednesday.

The announcement is the latest in a series of tit-for-tat expulsions in a growing crisis over Israel's deadly firing on Palestinians on the Gaza border.

The foreign ministry has told the consul to leave Turkey "for a period of time", the state-run Anadolu news agency said. Turkey had already withdrawn its ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations and told the Israeli ambassador to Ankara to leave.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called Israel an "apartheid state" as Ankara ordered the Israeli ambassador to leave.

Israel responded by ordering the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to leave for an unspecified period of time, its foreign ministry said.

Eitan Naeh had only been in his post since December 2016 after a reconciliation deal earlier that year ended a dispute over the May 2010 deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos that saw relations downgraded for more than half a decade.

Ankara has reacted with fury to the killings, which came on the same day as the US formally moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

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