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      Turkey Mulls Expulsion of IDF Attache as Next Diplomatic Act

      Turkey is mulling its next diplomatic move with Israel, as local media reports the Erdogan government may expel Israel's military attache.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 9/7/2011, 7:19 PM

      Flag of Turkey
      Flag of Turkey
      Israel news illustration

      Turkey is considering its next diplomatic move with Israel: according to a report in The Jerusalem Post, Ankara may expel Israel's military attache.

      After only one month on the job, Col. Moshe Levy returned to Israel Tuesday for consultations, after Turkish media reports the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan might decide to expel him. Levy was the former head of the IDF Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza.

      Erdogan's government allegedly was to make a decision Wednesday on whether to go ahead with the move.

      Turkey downgraded its diplomatic ties with Israel to Second Secretary level – the lowest level in foreign service – after the publication of the United Nations Palmer Report. Ankara was angered by the report's findings that Israel's blockade of Gaza is legal and that it is justified in maintaining the blockade as a means of protecting its citizens from terrorist attacks. The blockade is used to prevent terrorists from smuggling weapons and ordnance into Gaza.

      Turkey was also angered due to the fact that Israel has refused to apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish armed terror activists who attacked IDF commandos in May 2010. The clash took place aboard the Turkish-sponsored Mavi Marmara vessel, one of six in a so-called “humanitarian aid flotilla” that ignored IDF orders to change course away from Gaza, and head instead to Ashdod port.

      There were no humanitarian aid supplies aboard the Mavi Marmara. Israel expressed regret for the deaths, but has not apologized.