TEL AVIV – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “twist the ear” of his son Yair to punish him for calling Istanbul by its former name of Constantinople.
“You should twist the ear of your son for calling Istanbul Constantinople,” Israel’s Kan broadcaster quoted Erdogan as saying.
“I have ways of disciplining Israel if Netanyahu’s son continues to use shameful nicknames, things like Islambol,” the Turkish strongman added.
The Turkish leader and the elder Netanyahu had been exchanging barbs over Twitter before the younger Netanyahu joined the fray.
“I will remind him that Istanbul is actually a city called Constantinople! The capital of the Byzantine empire and center of orthodox Christianity for more then [sic] a thousand years before Turkish occupation!” Yair Netanyahu tweeted.
And I will remind him that Istanbul is actually a city called Constantinople! The capital of the Byzantine empire and center of orthodox Christianity for more then a thousand years before Turkish occupation! https://t.co/LIpPx8xqYX
— Yair Netanyahu (@YairNetanyahu) March 13, 2019
“I’ll also remind him the genocide Turkey had done against Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians! They ethically [sic] cleansed all Christians from Asia Minor!” he wrote in a follow up tweet.
#Turkey's #Erdogan tells #Israel Prime Minister to twist his son's ear as punishment for calling Istanbul with its old name Constantinople, says he has other means to discipline #Israel if @netanyahu /his son move further with name-calling, declares Istanbul's name as "Islambol" pic.twitter.com/xBw7yNsWqQ
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) March 16, 2019
The younger Netanyahu further retweeted a post that stated “maybe it’s a good idea to start a new hashtag to piss off the mad Turk #Istanbul_is_Constaninople.”
He also charged Turkey with “occupying northern Cyprus” as well as “committing genocide to the Kurds.”
Forgot to mention also these days turkey is committing genocide to the Kurds. And occupying northern Cyprus.
— Yair Netanyahu (@YairNetanyahu) March 15, 2019
Earlier, Erdogan had slandered the Israeli prime minister as a “thief” and “tyrant” who “massacred” Palestinian children. That tirade came in response to Netanyahu’s comment that the Turkish leader was a “dictator” and “a joke.”
The spar itself began after Turkey labeled Netanyahu a racist for saying Israel was the nation-state of the Jewish people.