Turkey: 'It Is Time Israel Pays a Price'
Country expels Israeli ambassador, cuts military ties
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2011 7:21 AM CDT
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to the media in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Turkey is expelling its Israeli ambassador and cutting military ties with Israel over Israel's refusal to apologize for last year's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. Turkey's foreign minister said today that his country is downgrading diplomatic ties to the level of second secretary; the ambassador is to leave Turkey by Wednesday. Turkey is also suspending all military agreements signed between the former allies, saying "it is time Israel pays a price."

Turkey's move came before today's anticipated publication of a UN report on violence aboard the protest flotilla; the fatalities included eight Turkish nationals and one Turkish-American activist. The New York Times published what it said were excerpts from the report, which said Israel's use of force against the flotilla was "excessive and unreasonable," according to the newspaper. Turkey has made an Israeli apology a condition of improving diplomatic ties. Israeli officials say the report does not demand an Israeli apology, establishing instead that Israel should express regret and pay reparations.
 

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