Emanuele Ottolenghi is correct to note and report the harassment of Israelis arriving at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. Yusuf Kanli, a columnist for Hurriyet, reported the incident and takes up the Turkish harassment of Israelis from a different perspective and asks some great questions:
An officious deputy Istanbul governor – who unfortunately is serving as the “highest administrative official” at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport – apparently decided to defend the “national honor” of Turkey by ordering customs police to apply the famous “reciprocity principle” to arriving Israeli citizens and question them why they wanted to visit Turkey…
He continues to discuss how Turkey’s idea of reciprocity falls short:
If such foolish[ness]… at the airport are allowed to continue on the pretext of reciprocity … people might start asking tomorrow what happened to that deputy governor who allowed the Mavi Marmara to leave Turkey with passengers who did not go through routine departure formalities in accordance with the passport laws of the country. Did the Mavi Marmara possess proper navigation papers (and not ones obtained in the aftermath)? There are many questions to be asked and of course even though Ankara might declare the U.N. Palmer Report on the Mavi Marmara incident as “null and void,” can the people in Ankara say in all confidence as “honest Muslims” that they did all they could to prevent the Mavi Marmara catastrophe? Why at the last minute were AKP deputies “ordered” to stay away from the trip but others were allowed to leave without going through passport formalities?
While Israelis (and Americans) have a tremendous capacity for self-flagellation, Kanli asks some great questions to which diplomats might seek answers.