GeriGündem Israeli army chief apologizes to Turkey over general's remarks
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Israeli army chief apologizes to Turkey over general's remarks

Israeli army chief apologizes to Turkey over general's remarks
refid:11046465 ilişkili resim dosyası

The Israeli army chief telephoned this week his Turkish counterpart to apologize for the harsh remarks made last week by the country's Ground Forces Commander Avi Mizrahi, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday. The Turkish military confirmed Friday reports of the phone conversation. (UPDATED)

Israel's Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi spoke this week with Turkish military chief Gen. Ilker Basbug in an effort to prevent deterioration in military relations with Turkey, the newspaper said.   


Mizrahi said last week Erdogan, who severely criticized Israel's military campaign in Gaza, "should first look in the mirror", and accused Turkey of "committing a massacre of Armenians, as well as suppression of the Kurds".


After Mizrahi's remarks, Turkey summoned the Israeli ambassador to the Foreign Ministry and handed a note of protest demanding clarification, while the military denounced them as "excessive, unfortunate and unacceptable".


A spokesman from the Turkish military confirmed that the Israeli military chief telephoned Basbug on Monday regarding Mizrahi's remarks.


Ashkenazi told the Turkish army chief that he was disappointed and saddened over the incident, adding he would look into the matter, the spokesman said at a weekly press briefing.


The Israeli army chief also said in a letter sent to the Turkish military on Thursday that he followed up on the promises made to Basbug during their conversation and that he had dealt with the issue, the army spokesman added.



Ashkenazi summoned Mizrahi this week and reprimanded him for the comments he made during a lecture, The Jerusalem Post also reported Thursday. During a press briefing on Tuesday, Mizrahi was asked about the incident and said he was behind it, the paper added.


"IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi spoke with his Turkish counterpart this week and said that the remarks attributed to Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi were not the official IDF position and that IDF generals and commanders were permitted to only express opinions on military and security issues," the Israeli paper quoted a statement released by the IDF Spokesman's Office.


Mizrahi's remarks did not reflect the IDF's official position, and Israel highly valued the strategic relationship it had forged over the years with the Turkish military, officials told the paper.


The IDF did not expect the incident to impair relations, military sources also told the Jerusalem Post. 





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