Erdogan, who has grown increasingly authoritarian over the years, is known to be an unpredictable leader and has been at clear odds with what Turkish diplomats in his government have said.
Ankara, which has close ties with both Russia and Ukraine, has positioned itself as a neutral party.
Erdogan, who has been trying to broker peace between Moscow and Kyiv, made the comments while returning from an emergency NATO summit in Brussels.
Turkey and Israel were once close allies, but the relationship frayed under Erdogan, who is an outspoken critic of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.
Known as a close aide of President Erdoğan, Ayci served Turkish Airlines as its chairman from 2015 to 2022.
Looks like the laurels bestowed on E Sreedharan were excessive, if not misplaced.
In 2020, more than 31,000 people were indicted for alleged contempt of the president and 36,000 in 2019, according to official judicial statistics.
The country's daily number of cases has risen to over 100,000 in recent weeks, which officials have attributed to the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Erdogan has tried to position Turkey, which is a member of the NATO defence alliance, as a neutral mediator close to both Moscow and Kyiv.
Turkey has blamed Greece for the deaths, accusing Greek border guards of illegally pushing the migrants back over the frontier.
Russia now has more than 100,000 troops stationed near Ukraine's northern and eastern borders, raising concern that Moscow might invade again, as it did in 2014, and destabilize the Ukrainian economy.
Under the insult law, tens of thousands have been prosecuted for targeting Erdogan since he became president in 2014 after more than a decade as prime minister.
Inflation has been rising while the lira has been slumping to record lows after the country's central bank, under pressure from Erdogan cut a key interest rate by 5 percentage points in September.
Erdogan's government plans to pursue legislation to criminalize spreading fake news and disinformation online, but critics say the proposed changes would tighten restrictions on free speech.
Erdogan told a group of journalists in Qatar that better ties with Israel would be 'beneficial' for peace in the wider region.