JERUSALEM – Turkey rejected an Israeli attempt Wednesday to make amends for humiliating its ambassador, and threatened to bring its envoy home if Israel didn't deliver an apology by the evening.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon issued a statement criticizing his own undiplomatic behavior, which included forcing Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Oguz Celikkol to sit on a lower seat and not shaking his hand. But the statement fell short of an apology and failed to defuse a diplomatic feud that has further strained ties between the once-close allies.
"They have been given time until tonight, they either fix it or our ambassador will head for Turkey on the first flight tomorrow" for consultations, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said. "After that, we will make an evaluation."
Ayalon set off the diplomatic firestorm when he summoned Celikkol late Monday, ostensibly to complain about a Turkish TV drama that has been perceived as anti-Semitic. The show, "The Valley of the Wolves," depicts Israeli security forces as kidnapping children and shooting old men.
Ayalon invited Israeli TV crews to watch the meeting, and pointedly explained to the cameramen how he was snubbing the ambassador by placing him on a lower chair and refusing to shake his hand.
Celikkol later said he hadn't known what Ayalon was saying to the cameramen.
Read more at Associated Press.
My head hurts.