Israel was in favor of Turkey coup, Arab MK claims
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Israel was in favor of Turkey coup, Arab MK claims

Taleb Abu Arar says Israeli police intimidated Erdogan supporters in southern town; Islamists in northern Israel held large rally for Turkish president

Dov Lieber is The Times of Israel's Arab affairs correspondent.

Joint (Arab) List MK Taleb Abu Arar with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Courtesy)
Joint (Arab) List MK Taleb Abu Arar with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Courtesy)

Joint (Arab) List MK Taleb Abu Arar on Sunday accused the Israeli government of ideologically supporting the failed military coup in Turkey against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this past weekend.

Arar said he based his claim on the fact that a man who organized a pro-Erdogan rally on Saturday in the southern Bedouin town of Rahat was briefly detained by police.

According to Israel Radio, the organizer — a former member of the outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement — was quickly released after he agreed to keep the rally confined to his local mosque.

In a statement to the press, Arar said the arrest amounted to intimidation of Erdogan backers in Israel, and was proof that the Israeli government “supports the attempted coup.”

Palestinian supporters of the Hamas movement hold portraits of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they shout slogans against the military coup attempt in Turkey, during a demonstration in Gaza City, on July 17, 2016. (AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)
Palestinian supporters of the Hamas movement hold portraits of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they shout slogans against the military coup attempt in Turkey, during a demonstration in Gaza City, on July 17, 2016. (AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)

Arar demanded that the government release a statement expressing support for democracy, “and not support [for] the terrorists that tried to carry out a failed coup.”

On Saturday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry published a statement voicing support for the democratically elected government in Ankara.

Turkish authorities crushed the putsch bid by discontented soldiers in a chaotic night of violence Friday and early Saturday that left at least 290 people dead. Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Sunday that around 6,000 people had been detained in “clean-up operations” following the failed attempt and warned that the number would rise.

An unnamed Turkish official thanked Israel for its support during the uncertain hours of the attempt, voicing Turkey’s appreciation for Israel’s “messages” as the bid unfolded, according to a senior Israeli official.

Meanwhile, residents of an Arab-Israeli town in northern Israel held a large celebratory rally in honor of Erdogan’s victory on Saturday.

In a video posted to YouTube, hundreds can be seen marching through the streets of the Arab town of Kafr Kana, waving Turkish flags and chanting “God is Great.”

https://youtu.be/qZvP3QjrnZE

The rally was organized by the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, which is outlawed in Israel and whose leader Raed Salah has been serving a nine-month prison sentence since May for incitement to violence and racism.

A spokesperson for Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh told The Times of Israel on Sunday that he had no comment about the events in Turkey.

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