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Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan Photo: Reuters
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan Photo: Reuters

Officials: Israel concerned over turmoil in Turkish army

Jerusalem said to be following developments in Ankara closely; concerned that military heads' resignation may 'plays into hands of Islamic extremists, Erdogan'

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 07.31.11, 17:28 / Israel News

Jerusalem officials have been following the recent political developments in Ankara with grave concern, noting they are especially worried about the resignation of Turkish armed forces Head General Isik Kosaner along with three other senior officers.


"This move plays right into the hands of Islamic extremists and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan," one official said. "It's troubling because it means the last fortress against Islam has collapsed."



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The reason for the generals' resignations was not immediately clear, but tensions between the secularist military and the government of Erdogan have run high in recent years.


Israeli officials mentioned it is quite possible that recent changes in Turkey will effect the possibility of reaching any agreement regarding the Palmer report.


"With recent transitions in the army, Barak's stance - which urges an apology - is weakened before Ya'alon and Lieberman," an official added.


The Turkish government has made attempts to pacify such worries, as Erdogan insisted "the Turkish armed forces will continue on with their mission, in a unified spirit."


Turkish President Abdullah Gul added, "No one should refer to this as a crisis or an ongoing problem. These events are undoubtedly out of the ordinary, but everything will go on properly and according to plan."


Ronen Medzini contributed to the report



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