Israeli President: Turkish PM wants to conquer Middle East by smiles
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan thinks he can conquer the Middle East by smiles, Israeli President Shimon Peres said in an interview with Wall Street Journal.
"One of the problems for a leader of our time is to make an impression on his people. The best way for a leader to make an impression on his people is to demonstrate to his people that their country under his leadership is greater than it is really great. It is not a fight for ideology. It is a fight for ambition," Israeli President said.
He said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, standing against the United States, hopes to conquer the Middle East. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan thinks he can conquer the Middle East by smiles.
"So wherever you look, the idea of grandeur whets the appetite of everybody," Peres said.
Turkey and Israel, until recently worked closely in the military, political and economic fields. Relations between them deteriorated in connection with military operations carried out by the Israeli army in Gaza in December 2008 - January 2009.
In January last year, Erdogan, in response to Israel's actions deliberately left the meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, not wishing to be with President Shimon Peres, RIA Novosti reported.
Turkey abolished the international exercises "Anatolian Eagle" in October the same year, in which the Israel Air Force were to participate.
Israel painfully reacted to criticism from Turkish prime minister and twice protested against the broadcasting of the film "Valley of the Wolves", which was full of scenes of mass killing of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, and where Mossad intelligence agents were presented as kidnappers.
Broadcasting of this film led to a diplomatic scandal between the two countries, when Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel Danny Ayalon showed disrespect to Turkish Ambassador in Tel Aviv Oguz Chelikkol in the presence of the media. Later Israel apologized to Turkey.