Rector kicks out Israel ambassador

Hurriyet Daily News
24 Kasım 2008 - 00:00Son Güncelleme : 23 Kasım 2008 - 19:08

ANKARA - Istanbul University’s rector, Mesut Parlak, drove away two Israeli officials from his office due to the presence of their armed bodyguards, daily Haaretz reported yesterday.

The Israeli ambassador to Turkey, Gabby Levy, and Consul General Mordechai Amichai visited Parlak in his office Friday and he became annoyed by the bodyguards who entered his office without permission. "This is a university and we cannot hold a meeting under these circumstances. There is no such protocol here. I am responsible for your security and these bodyguards cannot stay," Parlak told the officials who insisted on keeping the bodyguards with them. Parlak then canceled the meeting and saw them to the door.

Israeli sources confirmed the incident saying they did not want to leave the ambassador alone at the meeting after protests by Palestinian students at Bahçeşehir University earlier in the week.

Israeli diplomats in Turkey are provided with "Shin Bet protection," but it is customary to keep the presence of police and security personnel to a minimum on university campuses. The altercation erupted when the two diplomats failed to adhere to this unwritten rule.

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