A senior aide to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan was fired after saying that she wished the Israelis wounded in a terror attack in Istanbul had died.
Irem Aktas, an aide to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, tweeted immediately after a suicide bombing in Istanbul on Saturday that claimed the lives of five victims, including at least one Israeli, and wounded 36, among them 11 Israelis: “I wish the [wounded] Israelis died in Istanbul attack,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
At first, officials were trying to determine whether the Twitter account was authentic, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded an official condemnation of the tweet, if indeed it was written by Aktas.
The offensive tweet was erased, and Aktas was fired that evening.
Aykan Erdemir, a former Member of Parliament in Turkey, slammed Aktas and tweeted: “When this AKP official wished #Israeli tourists were killed in #Istanbul, she had no idea they were Arab-Israelis.”
Relations between Israel and Turkey have deteriorated since Erdogan became prime minister in 2002. In recent months, however, he has stated an interest in reestablishing diplomatic ties.
“Israel is in need of a country like Turkey in the region,” Erdogan said in remarks to Turkish reporters published in leading dailies. “And we too must accept that we need Israel. This is a reality in the region. If mutual steps are implemented based on sincerity, then normalization will follow.”