Modern Times

Posted on Mon 02/02/2009 by




According to Der Spiegel at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan

“didn’t mince his words during a debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres. He called the recent Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip a “crime against humanity” and “barbaric.” He said a “curse” would fall on Israel for their actions during the 22-day military operation and then stalked out of the session after complaining that the moderator was not giving him the chance to respond to Peres. In a meeting with the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon he even called for Israel to be excluded from the UN.” -more

The Hebrew press here in Israel is running with the story of a major crack in Israel/Turkish relations …So I wondered what was going on in the Turkish media.To find out, I turned to the MEMRI Turkish Media Blog, where I read that Turkey’s state-run Anatolian News Agency has released what purports to be a transcript of an alleged phone conversation between the two leaders following the incident:

Peres: Such things happen between friends. I am very sorry for today’s incident. Firstly, my respect towards the Turkish republic and you a prime minister has never changed.

Erdogan: Firstly, of course. There is no doubt that such arguments can happen between friends. But nobody can even speak to a tribe leader so loudly and in front of the international community, and not to the leader of the Republic of Turkey.

Peres: I raised my voice. In fact my friends tell me that I have a quite voice. This has nothing to do with my relationship with the prime minister of the Republic of Turkey. I am very sorry for what happened today.

Erdogan: I heard that you are going to hold a press conference.

Peres: Not today, but tomorrow.

Erdogan: If you express these sincere feelings, which I believe you will, in tomorrow’s press conference, I assume this problem will be mostly overcome.

Peres: Of course I will publicly express these remarks.

Erdogan: Thank you very much for your call Mr. President.

Peres: I thank you and wish you a nice flight.

So did we apologize? And if we did …what for?

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