CHP calls on gov’t to withdraw Turkish ambassador from Israel

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to withdraw Turkey’s ambassador to Israelafter 60 Palestinians were killed in Gaza by Israeli forces.

“Our ambassador to Israel should immediately be withdrawn,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at a parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on May 15.

His comment came as Turkey on May 14 recalled its ambassadors to Israel and the United States in protest at the Israeli military’s deadly response to riots on the Gaza border on the same day as the U.S. inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem.

Turkey also declared three days of mourning over the 60 Palestinians.

“It is not enough to recall ambassadors for a briefing. You have declared mourning for three days. There are 60 people who were murdered are over 3,000 who were wounded and you only say you recalled the ambassador. No! You have to withdraw the ambassador without return,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“In order to prove that East Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, you should immediately announce to the world that we declare our consulate as our Embassy,” he added.

The CHP leader also called for the dismissal of the deal between Ankara and Tel Aviv, which was approved by parliament in the aftermath of the May 2010 incident on the Mavi Marmara flotilla in which Turkish activists were killed by Israeli security forces.

After the incident, Turkey demanded an official apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed and the lifting of the blockade in Gaza.

The deal involved Tel Aviv paying 20 million to the families of the victims as part of a normalization agreement between Turkey and Israel after a six-year hiatus in ties. Israelsubsequently delivered the money to the Turkish government, but it has still not been paid to the families of Mavi Marmara victims.

“The deal hurts our pride. So our friends are issuing a draft law today to immediately scrap the humiliating deal,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“They neither apologized nor lifted the blockade on Gaza. Then the first thing we do after this massacre should be cancelling this deal,” he added.”

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