Almost as bad a Pic as the one with Peres and Robert Scoble
Israel is ignoring a massive banner that was unfurled in an Istanbul suburb on Sunday that shows President Shimon Peres bowing to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The banner’s caption reads “Erdogan, a leader to whom the world bows down.” The banner was removed before Erdogan made an appearance at the site to dedicate a new road network.
While at first glance this seemed to be Turkish retribution for the public hazing of Turkey’s ambassador to Israel in January, when Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon sat him on a lower chair and reprimanded him over an anti-Semitic television show broadcast in Turkey, the Turkish press reported that Erdogan’s office had the poster taken down before Erdogan appeared at the site to inaugurate a new road network.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the poster, with some diplomatic officials in Jerusalem saying it obviously came from the top, while others said it was quite possible that this was an independent act of protest that was not choreographed by the government.
One diplomatic official in Jerusalem termed the incident “scandalous,” saying that it demonstrated a great deal of disrespect both for Peres and for Israel.
You may recall that Erdogan stormed out of a forum with Peres at the Davos conference in January 2009. In an interview published on Monday with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Erdogan took great pride in that incident.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais that was published Monday, Erdogan said that the Davos incident – which made him a hero in much of the Arab world – ushered in a new Turkish approach to foreign policy.
“That opened a new approach to foreign relations,” he said. “We have a philosophy of strength. It is a foreign policy with a backbone.”
What could go wrong?
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