There is no chance the IDF would overthrow the Israeli government in a military coup operation, former defense minister and Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz said Saturday afternoon.
Speaking at a cultural event in the northern suburb of Yokneam, Peretz made the comments in the wake of a thwarted military uprising in Turkey that began Friday evening. More than 160 people were killed in violence that erupted late on Friday after a faction of the armed forces attempted to seize power using tanks and attack helicopters.
Forces loyal to Turkey's government fought on Saturday to crush the last remnants of a military coup attempt which collapsed after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.
Peretz was participating in a panel that included former defense minister Shaul Mofaz.
"We have educated our youth that since the dawn of democracy the state takes precedence over the military," Peretz said at the cultural forum.
"The test of power between the state and military," he continued, "is that the army always adopts the position of the political leadership, even if it does not agree."
"There are pockets of exceptions like patently illegal orders... but our democracy is stronger than any event. We passed successfully a big test after the assassination of prime minister (Yitzak Rabin) and the fact that Israeli democracy has survived is a great source of pride," he added.
When asked, in his opinion, what stoked the attempted coup in Turkey, Peretz posited that factions in the Turkish military believed Erdogan was eroding democratic institutions and posed a threat to democracy.
"The army thought it was acting to defend the democracy... and took responsibility on itself to prevent the erosion of democracy at the hands of Erdogan," Peretz said.
Peretz added, however, that the Jewish state should support democratically elected governments and "refrain from interfering" in the affairs of other countries.
"It is important to protect relations with Turkey and keep the agreements we have signed, he continued, adding "the strategic alliance with Turkey is important for our country."Reuters contributed to this article.