Ya’alon: Turkey buying IS oil, letting jihadists enter Europe
search

Ya’alon: Turkey buying IS oil, letting jihadists enter Europe

Defense minister urges Ankara to join anti-Islamic State alliance, slams presence of Hamas offices on Turkish soil

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon speaking at a press conference in Athens with Greek counterpart Panos Kamenos on January 26, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 2)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon speaking at a press conference in Athens with Greek counterpart Panos Kamenos on January 26, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 2)

Turkey has permitted the Islamic State to send trained terrorists into Europe and funded the group by buying its oil, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday, urging the country to join an alliance against terrorism.

Ankara “allowed the jihadists to move from Europe to Syria and Iraq and back home as part of the Daesh terror infrastructure in Europe,” the defense minister said, referring to Islamic State by its Arabic acronym. Turkey “still hosts the Hamas external [sic] terror headquarters in Istanbul,” Ya’alon said during a press conference in Athens.

The Islamic State has long profited from selling its oil to Turkey, Ya’alon said, and expressed the hope that Turkey “will join the countries that fight terrorism.”

“Hopefully, we’ll have Turkey on board. Israel and Turkey enjoyed [a] very good relationship in the past. Unfortunately the Turkish government decided to deteriorate and to escalate the situation between Israel and Turkey,” Ya’alon said in English during a press conference in Athens with Greek counterpart Panos Kammenos.

“Now it’s up to Turkey, the Turkish government and Turkish leadership to decide whether they want to be part of any kind of cooperation in fighting terrorism… this is not the case, so far as you probably know,” Ya’alon said. Islamic State has “enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time,” he said, expressing hope that this would end soon.

Ya’alon’s visit to Greece comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to meet with his Greek and Cypriot counterparts in Nicosia this week.

Russia also charged that Turkey is buying oil from IS, after Turkey downed a Russian jet that it said violated its airspace. Russia did not provide backing for its claims.

Ya’alon’s markedly bitter attack on Turkey comes at a time when Israel and Turkey are signaling that a restoration of long-frozen ties is imminent.

In mid-December, Israeli and Turkish officials held a secret meeting in Switzerland, at the end of which they announced a significant revival of a once strong relationship that has deteriorated in recent years.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments