Israel denies it detained Turkish right-wing leadership

According to the Foreign Ministry statement, the men entered the duty free area of the airport at 8:00 a.m., and boarded the plane on time.

May 5, 2016 15:40
1 minute read.
El Al

An El Al Boeing 777 aircraft is seen at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport. (photo credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS/IDF SPOKESMAN)


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Claims that Israel detained a delegation from a far-right Turkish party at Ben–Gurion Airport on Thursday, including its leader, Mustafa Destici, are greatly exaggerated, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The Hurriyet Daily News reported that a tweet on the official account of the Great Unity Party (BBP) early on Thursday morning read that “Israeli police have detained our deputy leader Ilker Kayalioglu and other party members for interrogation for an hour and a half.”

The BBP is a far-right Islamist and nationalist party currently not represented in the Turkish parliament. A delegation representing the party was on the Mavi Marmara in 2010 that was stopped by the IDF as it tried to break the maritime blockade of Gaza.

A Foreign Ministry statement said that Destici and Kayalioglu arrived in Israel from Amman on a Royal Jordanian flight on Sunday, and departed Thursday at 8.30 am.

A probe into the matter with the relevant airport authorities did not reveal anything unusual in the delegation’s departure procedures, including their routine questioning at the airport, the statement said.

sThe ministry said the delegation was “not detained and certainly not arrested.”

According to the statement, the men entered the duty free area of the airport at 8 a.m., and boarded the plane on time. The delegation’s report of being detained at the airport was sent after it left Israel.

According to media reports, the delegation visited mosques in Jaffa and Jerusalem during the visit.

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