In Initial Response to Failed Coup, Israel Says It 'Respects Democratic Process in Turkey'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been informed and signed off on the short and terse statement by Israel.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Credit: Reuters
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Some 15 hours after the attempted military coup against Turkey began, Israel published its first official response.

"Israel respects the democratic process in Turkey and looks forward to the continuation of the reconciliation process between Turkey and Israel," Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesperson for Israel's Foreign Ministry, told reporters Saturday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen amid his supporters at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. Credit: Huseyin Aldemir, Reuters

Analysis: Deep rifts in Turkey military brass boil over into coup attempt

For many hours Israel had officially kept silent at the events in Turkey. During the night, amid fighting between rebel and pro-Erdogan forces, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry published statements clearly denouncing the military coup and expressing support of Turkey's democratically elected government. Similar statements were published by the German foreign ministry and the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Due the sensitivity of Israel and Turkey's ties, and the fact the rapprochement agreement between the two countries is still in its infancy, Jerusalem decided to wait until things were clearer before responding. The final statement came after it became clear that the putsch had failed and officials in the Foreign Ministry's emergency room had agreed on its wording. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been informed and signed off on the short and terse statement.

Analysis: An anatomy of a failed Turkish coup

Some ninety people were killed, including many civilians after a faction of the armed forces tried to seize power using tanks and attack helicopters.

Erdogan appeared to accuse the coup plotters of trying to kill him and said he would purge the armed forces, which in the past have staged a number of successful coups, although not for more than 30 years. 

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