By Ezgi Akin
ISTANBUL (Al-Monitor) — Israel announced on October 28 that it was recalling its diplomats in Turkey for consultations in protest of “grave” statements from Turkish government officials concerning the Israel-Hamas war.
“Given the grave statements coming from Turkey, I have ordered the return of diplomatic representatives there in order to conduct a reevaluation of the relations between Israel and Turkey,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Speaking at a pro-Palestine rally in Istanbul earlier on October 28, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel a “war criminal” over its attacks on the Gaza Strip, reiterating that his country doesn’t consider Hamas a terror organization.
“Israel has been openly committing war crimes for 22 days,” Erdogan told the crowd of tens of thousands. “We will tell the whole world that Israel is a war criminal. We are making preparations for this. We will declare Israel a war criminal,” he added.
Abandoning his previously cautious tone vis-a-vis the Jewish state, earlier this week Erdogan described Hamas as a liberation group fighting to defend Palestinian lands and announced that he had canceled his plans to visit Israel.