Israeli president targeted in Turkish poster

ISTANBUL - 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, media reports said.
The picture, unfurled from a crane in a city suburb, combined an image of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan standing upright with one of Shimon Peres leaning forward, making it look like the Israeli president was bowing.

Erdogan 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 Aksam newspaper said on its website.
It was not clear who was behind the stunt, the newspaper said, though it appeared to be a retaliation for the public dressing down given to the Turkish ambassador to Israel last month.
The diplomat was made to sit on a low couch during a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, called to protest at a Turkish television series which showed Israel in bad light.
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 criticised.
In a memorable outburst, Erdogan stormed out of a debate at the World Economic Forum, accusing Israel of "barbarian" acts and telling Peres, 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.

Monday, February 22nd 2010
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