According to Der Spiegel at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan
"didn't mince his words during a debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres. He called the recent Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip a "crime against humanity" and "barbaric." He said a "curse" would fall on Israel for their actions during the 22-day military operation and then stalked out of the session after complaining that the moderator was not giving him the chance to respond to Peres. In a meeting with the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon he even called for Israel to be excluded from the UN." -moreThe Hebrew press here in Israel is running with the story of a major crack in Israel/Turkish relations ...So I wondered what was going on in the Turkish media.To find out, I turned to the MEMRI Turkish Media Blog, where I read that Turkey's state-run Anatolian News Agency has released what purports to be a transcript of an alleged phone conversation between the two leaders following the incident:
Peres: Such things happen between friends. I am very sorry for today's incident. Firstly, my respect towards the Turkish republic and you a prime minister has never changed.So did we apologize? And if we did ...what for?
Erdogan: Firstly, of course. There is no doubt that such arguments can happen between friends. But nobody can even speak to a tribe leader so loudly and in front of the international community, and not to the leader of the Republic of Turkey.
Peres: I raised my voice. In fact my friends tell me that I have a quite voice. This has nothing to do with my relationship with the prime minister of the Republic of Turkey. I am very sorry for what happened today.
Erdogan: I heard that you are going to hold a press conference.
Peres: Not today, but tomorrow.
Erdogan: If you express these sincere feelings, which I believe you will, in tomorrow's press conference, I assume this problem will be mostly overcome.
Peres: Of course I will publicly express these remarks.
Erdogan: Thank you very much for your call Mr. President.
Peres: I thank you and wish you a nice flight.