Daily Israel Report

Protesters at Turkish Embassy Call Erdogan 'Terrorist'

Israelis gather outside Turkish embassy to support IDF. Protesters accuse Turkey of supporting terrorism, deride its leaders.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/3/2010, 9:17 PM / Last Update: 6/3/2010, 9:36 PM

Mati Barne'a
1,500 Israelis held a protest Thursday opposite the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv. The demonstrators expressed their anger over Turkey's involvement in sending ships to Gaza in defiance of Israel's naval blockade.

Some of the protesters were heard shouting that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is “a terrorist.”

Media outlets reported that the protesters had set fire to a Turkish flag. Participants in the rally denied the reports, and said they had set fire to a red shirt, not a flag. There were also reports of a smoke bomb hurled at the embassy.

Among the protesters were many fans of the Betar Jerusalem soccer team, who bore the team's flag as well as Israeli flags and banners condemning terrorism and supporting the IDF. “Shayetet 13, we're with you,” one banner declared in reference to the IDF commando unit that overcame the Gaza-bound ships and redirected them to Ashdod.

The unit was attacked by passengers on the ship and opened fire, leaving nine people dead. There were wounded among both passengers and soldiers.

The IDF action was denounced throughout the Arab and Muslim world and particularly in Turkey, where thousands of people marched Thursday in the funeral procession of the Turkish citizens killed in the clash.