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In 1st phone call, Israeli woman detained in Turkey tells family, ‘If you’re strong, I’m strong’

The family of Natali and Mordy Oknin speak by phone with Natali on November 17, 2021, for the first time since she and her husband were arrested eight days earlier in Turkey. The couple, both Egged bus drivers, are being held separately and face espionage accusations, which they and the Israeli government firmly deny. (Channel 13 screenshot)
The family of Natali and Mordy Oknin speak by phone with Natali on November 17, 2021, for the first time since she and her husband were arrested eight days earlier in Turkey. The couple, both Egged bus drivers, are being held separately and face espionage accusations, which they and the Israeli government firmly deny. (Channel 13 screenshot)

An Israeli woman detained in Turkey with her husband for photographing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s palace in Istanbul speaks by phone with her family for the first time.

In a recording of the call played by Israeli television, Natali Oknin’s children and sister can be heard telling her about the conversations with Israeli leaders about the case.

“I’m strong. If you’re strong, I’m strong,” she told her family.

One of her daughters responded: “Mom, we are strong, I swear to you… We are all waiting for you… We are never alone.”

Oknin said on the call that there has been a young woman accompanying her all the time in custody.

“If I need to go to the bathroom, the young woman comes with me and escorts me,” she said. “They didn’t harm me. It’s hard for me, but I’m getting along. They brought me clothes and chocolate spread. They bring me fresh bread every day.”

She also asked one of her daughters to sing her the song “Only for Mom” by Eti Bitton.

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