(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Following the violent demonstrations last night (Thursday, July 17 2014) outside the Israeli diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul, during which stones were thrown, the windows of the consulate in Istanbul were smashed and a Palestinian flag hung on the wall of the home of the Israeli ambassador in Ankara, Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman instructed that the families of Israeli diplomats serving in Turkey were to return to Israel. It was further decided to reduce diplomatic representation in that country to a minimum.
Foreign Ministry officials stated that the violent protests came after inflammatory remarks made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and that Turkish security forces did not take the required preventative action during the protests to prevent the hostile incidents.
FM Liberman instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make it clear to the Turkish government that Israel strongly protests the flagrant violation of diplomatic rules, including the Vienna Convention, by the Turkish authorities and security forces during the protests, and to stress that Israel holds the Turkish government fully responsible for the safety of the Israeli representatives.