Turkish police have arrested 30 youths after they began an anti-Israeli protest during a basketball match between Turkey and Israel in the central Turkish city of Kayseri.

Police entered the basketball stadium in Kayseri city on Monday after a crowd of Turkish spectators, waving Palestinian flags, began the protest.

As the protest continued, Israeli players left the playing ground.

"They have been accused of insulting Israel," the police said, referring to the Turkish protesters.

This is not the first time the Israeli players have been forced off the court. In 2009, Israeli players left the court when some 3000 Turkish fans disrupted a basketball game in the capital city of Ankara.

An editor of the foreign desk at Turkiye newspaper, Hayrettin Turan, said relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv really soured with the Israeli invasion of the Gaza strip in December 2008-January 2009.

Tensions between Turkey and Israel further escalated in May 2010, when Israeli army raided a Gaza-bound aid ship and killed nine Turkish activists.

"Turkey completely supports a free Palestine. Israel does not like our stance on that issue. After the flotilla situation, Turkey is doing everything it can, politically and economically on the international stage for Palestine," Turan added.

Israel is still refusing to apologize to Turkey for the deaths, claiming its troops had acted in self-defense.