Turkish Embassy Wants Protection

The Turkish government says security isn't tight enough around its embassy in Tel Aviv, but reduced similar measures at Israel's embassy in Ankara.

Chana Ya'ar , | updated: 9:24 PM

Evacuating Arab gunman from Turkish Embassy
Evacuating Arab gunman from Turkish Embassy
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Turkish government is complaining that Israeli security isn't tight enough around its embassy building in Tel Aviv.

“We have asked Israel to increase the level of security of our embassy building,” diplomatic sources told reporters Wednesday in Ankara, according to Turkey's daily Hurriyet.

The allegation came following an incident Tuesday in which a Palestinian Authority Arab entered the building and attempted to take the vice consul hostage.

Nidam Injaz, who served four years in prison for a similar attempt at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, was shot in the legs by Turkish Embassy security personnel. It was six hours before Israeli medics and police were allowed to take him into custody.

“This incident proved there is a weak spot in security,” said a Turkish source quoted by the newspaper. “The outcome of the attack would have been worse had our security people not acted in time.”

Injaz was treated overnight Tuesday for gunshot wounds at Ichilov Hospital. His remand was extended on Wednesday for one week by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court.

Israeli police officials pointed out in response that Injaz did not break into the building, but had been allowed to enter by the embassy staff.

According to the report, Ankara has asked Israel to step up its security around the building in the wake of the incident.

Turkey Reduces Security at Israeli Embassy

At the same time, Turkey reduced security measures around the Israeli Embassy in Ankara on the day of the attack, allegedly due to a court ruling.

The embassy is a flash point for demonstrators protesting Israeli government policies, including actions taken against Arab terrorists. Recently hundreds of demonstrators gathered to protest clashes between IHH terror activists and Israeli Navy commandos on a Turkish-sponsored flotilla vessel sent to break the maritime blockade of Gaza. Nine armed terrorists were killed after they attacked the IDF commandos, and several Israeli soldiers were seriously wounded.

A set of barriers in front of the building had been placed by the Ankara Municipality Center for Transportation Coordination at the request of the Israeli Embassy, according to the city's mayor, Melih Gokcek.

However, in 2006, “Recep Tarhan, an ordinary citizen, took us to court for the removal of the barriers.” An initial ruling denied the petition, but on appeal to the Ninth Administrative Court of Ankara, Tarhan won his case, arguing the barriers “caused difficulties in transportation for citizens.”

As a result, the mayor said, the barriers were removed. “It is out of the question to claim we have not obeyed the court decision.”