Turkey's Erdogan Accuses Rivals of Working With Mossad

President says followers of his rival belong to a 'parallel structure' that cooperates with Israeli intelligence.

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Credit: AP

The political rivals of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are cooperating with Israel's intelligence service Mossad, Turkey's president said on Saturday.

“Shame on them if they still cannot see that this structure is cooperating with the Mossad,” he said, addressing a meeting of businessmen and industrialists in Istanbul, Hurriyet reported.

Erdogan was specifically targeting the followers of his U.S.-based rival, the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan accuses Gulen's followers of belonging to a "parallel structure" and of attempting a coup, saying they stood behind a large corruption investigation into his regime in December 2013.

“The sincere people backing this parallel structure should see with whom this structure is cooperating with,” Erdogan said.

Since a rift in the relations between Israel and Turkey following the Gaza flotilla incident of 2010, when nine Turks sailing a boat bound for Gaza where killed when the Israeli army took over their vessel, Erdogan and other Turkish officials have increasingly criticized Israel, casting allegations that some have said are anti-Semitic.

After December's attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, Erdogan said of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Someone who fomented state terrorism with the death of 2,500 people in Gaza is now there [in Paris], waving at other world leaders and marching hand in hand with them."

In July 2014, during the war between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Erdogan described Israel as a "terror state," and of "creating a wave of terror," and called on Turkey's Jews to denounce it, adding, however, that they won't be hurt if they refuse.

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