Israel, Turkey face new tension over embassy security
The already-shaky relations between Turkey and Israel are coming under the strain of two more controversies, this time over the security of their respective diplomatic missions in Ankara and Tel Aviv. Turkey has asked Israel to boost security at Turkey's embassy in Tel Aviv, diplomatic sources told reporters yesterday, in the wake of a Palestinian man's attack on the embassy on Tuesday. "This incident has proven that there is a security weakness," said one source. "Tuesday's attack would have been worse if our security personnel hadn't been able to act in time." The embassy has already contacted Israeli officials about boosting security. Coincidentally, on the same day as the attack, security measures near the Israeli Embassy in Ankara were loosened when a set of barriers in front of the embassy was removed. The barriers were originally placed by Ankara Municipality transportation officials at the request of the embassy, said Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek. In 2006 Recep Tarhan, a layman, sued the city to have the barriers removed, arguing that they made it harder for people to get around. When Anakra's Ninth Administrative Court eventually ruled in his favor, the city removed them. "Disobeying the court ruling was out of the question," said Gokcek. The embassy is often the site of protests against Israeli policies towards the Palestinians. Turkish-Israeli ties soured after Israel's deadly flotilla attack in May that killed nine Turkish peace activists.