Erdogan ally: Coup attempt will tighten Israel-Turkey ties
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Erdogan ally: Coup attempt will tighten Israel-Turkey ties

Ilnur Cevik tells Israeli TV that Ankara expects Israeli intel in fight against IS, says US must 'think very clearly' about request to extradite cleric

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Ilnur Cevik, an aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, talks to Channel 2 television in an interview aired on July 20, 2016 (screen capture)
Ilnur Cevik, an aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, talks to Channel 2 television in an interview aired on July 20, 2016 (screen capture)

The failed putsch attempt by members of the Turkish military will serve to deepen Turkey’s newly restored ties with Israel, a senior adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Channel 2 television.

Mutual security fears will act as a spur to reinforce the reconciliation agreement between Jerusalem and Ankara that was signed last month, said Ilnur Cevik in an interview aired on Wednesday night.

“It will maybe speed up the normalization process,” Cevik told the Israeli news channel in a meeting at the presidential palace in Ankara. The interview was conducted in the palace courtyard for security reasons, Cevik said.

“We feel Israel has always helped us in intelligence gathering. We need that in our fight against Daesh,” he said, calling the Islamic State by its Arabic acronym. “We need that in putting some order into Syria.”

The Jewish state, the aide said, “is starting to see the dangers of Daesh as well.”

He made it clear that Turkey expects to receive information about IS from Israel.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and former Turkish president Abdullah Gul (C) react after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup attempt in Istanbul on July 17, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC)
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and former Turkish president Abdullah Gul (C) react after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup attempt in Istanbul on July 17, 2016. (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

 

Like Erdogan, Cevik also said the Turkish people were instrumental in resisting those behind the attempted coup. He recalled that he arrived at the palace on Friday night as the rebellion was already underway, and there was a large crowd of civilians outside defending the compound.

He insisted that there was no doubt that the plotters were guilty, and suggested that Israel would have had a similar response to Erdogan’s massive round-up of judicial officials, security officers and even educationalists, something that has raised eyebrows internationally, even as Erdogan’s Western allies hailed the triumph of the rule of law and democracy.

“For God’s sake think of it in Israel, some group of policemen, judges, are just going to go over to Mossad [domestic intelligence agency] and trying to capture the head of Mossad,” Cevik said. “I mean this is incredible. This is a coup.”

Turkish cleric and opponent to the Erdogan regime Fethullah Gülen addresses at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania on July 18, 2016 allegations by the Turkish government about his involvement in the attempted July 15 coup. (AFP/Thomas URBAIN)
Turkish cleric and opponent to the Erdogan regime Fethullah Gulen addresses at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania on July 18, 2016 allegations by the Turkish government about his involvement in the attempted July 15 coup. (AFP/Thomas Urbain)

Cevik also had pointed words for the US, which is taking a cautious stance on Turkey’s demand for the extradition of a long-term Erdogan adversary, the Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating the coup.

“The United State needs us as much as much as we need the United States,” he said of the NATO ally currently using Turkey as a staging point for attacks on IS fighters in Syria and Iraq. “The United States has to sit down and think very, very clearly.”

President Barack Obama “needs to think very clearly,” he continued. “Turkey says extradite this man.”

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