Turkish elements claim Israeli decision to warn tourists against visiting Turkey motivated by desire for revenge over Erdogan statements
Heightened tensions: Turkish elements expressed outrage over Israel’s travel advisory to Turkey issued by the Counter Terrorism Bureau on Tuesday, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Thursday. The Turks claim that the warning is based on “vengeful political considerations aiming to portray Turkey as failing to protect Jews and Israelis.”
It was also claimed that Turkey is putting great efforts into securing local Jewish and Israeli institutions and that the diplomatic crisis with Israel does not effect its determination to fight terror. The Turks are particularly angry at the Israeli announcement’s timing and view it as renege for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s most recent verbal attack on Israel.
Israeli state officials categorically denied basing the decision on political considerations, including revenge.
The decision was based on solid intelligence indicating plans by Iran and Hezbollah to carry out a terrorist or abduction attack against Israeli or Jewish targets, they said. Israeli officials got the impression that the Turks did not take this information seriously enough having made no arrests.
Meanwhile, many Israelis disregarded the warning and traveled to Turkey without trepidation. “Here in Israel rockets explode too, but life goes on,” said Faina Eisenberg before departing to Istanbul.
By: Itamar Eichner