Israel tells citizens to leave Turkey ‘as soon as possible’

Protestors shout slogans and wave a Palestinian flag during a rally in support of Palestinians in Istanbul on October 18, 2023. (Photo by UMIT TURHAN COSKUN / AFP)

Israel has told its citizens to leave Turkey immediately amid fears of reprisal after a deadly strike on a hospital in the Gaza Strip, Turkish Minute reported on Wednesday, citing a consular spokesperson who spoke to Agence France-Presse.

“All Israelis staying in Turkey must leave as soon as possible,” Israel’s National Security Council announced late on Tuesday.

“I can confirm that the travel warning of the National Security Council to Turkey has been raised to 4, the highest level,” the spokesperson told AFP.

Israel and the Palestinians accused each other of the strike that hit the hospital in Gaza, which triggered a wave of protests in the region against Israel.

Thousands joined protests in Istanbul and the capital Ankara outside Israel’s diplomatic missions to condemn the attack.

Turkish police detained five protesters for attempting to get into the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, the governor’s office said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause, accused Israel of “striking a hospital sheltering women, children and innocent civilians” and urged the world to stop the tragedy in Gaza.

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