Yair Lapid and Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara on Thursday

Turkey, Israel FMs say countries working together to foil Iran terror plot

After their meeting in Ankara, ministers tell reporters diplomatic relations strained for years, now on the mend; Lapid thanks hosts for helping foil the Iranian plot but says effort still underway

Agencies, Itamar Eichner |
Published: 06.23.22, 17:03
Turkey and Israel have begun work restoring their mutual diplomatic representation to ambassador level, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday as the two countries seek an end to more than a decade of strained ties.
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  • The two ministers spoke to reporters after their meeting in Ankara.
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    שר החוץ יאיר לפיד נפגש עם שר החוץ של טורקיה מבלוט צ'בושולו ב אנקרה
    שר החוץ יאיר לפיד נפגש עם שר החוץ של טורקיה מבלוט צ'בושולו ב אנקרה
    Yair Lapid and Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara on Thursday
    (Photo: AFP)
    In a joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, Cavusoglu also said they were in close contact regarding threats to Israeli citizens in Turkey and that Ankara would not allow terrorist attacks on its territory.
    The two ministers spoke to reporters after their meeting in Ankara.
    Turkish media reported earlier that authorities detained eight people allegedly working for an Iranian intelligence cell that planned to assassinate Israeli tourists in Istanbul.
    Lapid thanked Turkey for helping foil the Iranian plot and said the effort was still underway.
    "The lives of Israeli citizens have been saved in recent weeks thanks to security and diplomatic cooperation between Israel and Turkey," Lapid said adding that "These efforts are ongoing."
    2 View gallery
    Turkish security officers on the streets of Istanbul
    Turkish security officers on the streets of Istanbul
    Turkish security officers on the streets of Istanbul
    (Photo: AFP)
    The eight, who are not all Iranian nationals, were detained in a raid last week in three houses in Istanbul’s popular Beyoglu district, the private IHA news agency reports.
    Israel has repeatedly urged its citizens in recent weeks not to travel to Turkey and to leave the country immediately because of “possible” threats from Iranian operatives.
    IHA reports that Iran sent agents disguised as businessmen, tourists and students to Istanbul to assassinate Israelis. It says the Iranians split into four groups of two assassins who could better track their Israeli targets.
    “The hitmen in the assassination team, who settled in two separate rooms on the second and fourth floors of a hotel in Beyoglu, were [detained] with a large number of weapons and ammunition,” IHA reports.


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