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Israeli president targeted in Turkish poster

22 February 2010 [13:05] - TODAY.AZ
A huge poster showing Israel's president bowing to the Turkish prime minister was hung from an Istanbul crane Sunday in the latest round of sniping between the two nations.
The picture, unfurled from a crane in a city suburb, combined an image of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan standing upright with one of Shimon Peres leaning forward; making it look like the Israeli president was bowing.

Erdoğan was due to visit the area to inaugurate a new road network, and officials from his office had the poster removed before he arrived, the Akşam newspaper said on its Web site.

It was not clear who was behind the stunt, the newspaper said, though it appeared to be retaliation for the public dressing down given to the Turkish ambassador to Israel last month.

The diplomat was called in protest of a Turkish television series which showed Israel in bad light and was made to sit on a lower couch during the meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

Muslim-majority Turkey has been a close military ally of Israel since 1996 but relations between the two countries have been tense in the wake of Israel's devastating war on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, which Turkey vehemently criticized.

In a memorable outburst, Erdoğan stormed out of a debate at the World Economic Forum, accusing Israel of "barbarian" acts and telling Peres, who was sitting next to him, that "you know well how to kill people."

Earlier this month Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed Turkey for what he called its recent "anti-Israeli" stance but said the Jewish state would continue efforts to rebuild ties with long-time ally Ankara.

/Hurriyet Daily News/

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