Turkey has no intention of improving relations with Israel, Knesset Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman said on
“My opposition to apologizing to Turkey is not new, and I
expressed it clearly before and after it happened,” Liberman wrote on his
Facebook page, referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s March 22 apology
for the Israeli takeover of Gaza protest ship Mavi Marmara in 2010.
reasoned and explained that it will not improve relations between the countries
but will only harm Israel’s standing in the region and play into the hands of
extremists in the Middle East, with Turkey under Islamist extremist [President
Recep Tayyip] Erdogan among them,” Liberman continued.
“I am therefore
not surprised by Turkey’s accusation that Israel is behind the report in The
Washington Post about ‘revealing spies to Iran,’ and I don’t even know if there
was such a spy ring.”
The Yisrael Beytenu leader’s comments came shortly
after Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that Turkey’s intelligence agencies
believe that a report by The Washington Post foreign affairs analyst David
Ignatius, accusing Ankara of giving Iran information about Mossad spies, was
part of an Israeli campaign to discredit Turkish National Intelligence
Organization head Hakan Fidan.
According to Liberman, this accusation is
baseless and provides more evidence that Erdogan’s Turkey is not interested in
improving relations with Israel.
As examples of earlier evidence to that
effect, Liberman referred to Turkey’s blaming of Israel for protests in Ankara
earlier this year in order to avoid paying damages to participants in the Mavi
Marmara incident, as well as Erdogan’s claim that he has documents proving that
Israel is behind the regime change in Egypt.
“I hope we will all stop
deluding ourselves and understand the situation in which we live, and the
difference between what we want and what exists,” Liberman wrote.
Turkish intelligence source told Hurriyet that Turkey sees “this media campaign
as an attack and there might be an Israeli effort behind it. Especially after
the Washington Post story on October 17 and the follow-ups with Jerusalem
Fidan has been suspected by Israel and the US of maintaining
friendly ties with Tehran.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal ran an
article about Fidan, who reportedly has been the subject of American
dissatisfaction over his purported role in allowing arms to flow to jihadist
rebels in Syria.
Turkish intelligence sources told Hurriyet that they
believe it is Israel’s intent to smear Fidan through the press in order to
discredit his boss, the prime minister, in the eyes of Washington.
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