Turkey Accuses Israel of Being Behind Egypt Coup

Erdogan Says He Has Evidence Pointing to Involvement

Evidence: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has evidence Israel instigated the coup in Egypt.
getty images
Evidence: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has evidence Israel instigated the coup in Egypt.

By Reuters

Published August 20, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel on Tuesday of having a hand in the Egyptian military’s overthrow of president Mohamed Mursi, making comments likely to further undermine efforts to restore Ankara’s strained ties with Israel.

Erdogan, who has become one of the fiercest critics of the Islamist leader’s removal last month, also said he feared “autocratic regimes” would take root if the West failed to respect election results.

Almost 900 people have died in the past week since the military-backed Egyptian government cracked down on supporters of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, who want the country’s first freely-elected president reinstated.

“What do they say in Egypt? Democracy is not the ballot box. What is behind it? Israel. We have in our hands documentation,” Erdogan told provincial leaders of his AK Party.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to respond to Erdogan’s allegation. “This is a statement well worth not commenting on,” said ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Mursi was the most prominent Islamist to gain power through the ballot box after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings and ruled for a year until his removal on July 3. Erdogan’s AK party, which has won the last three Turkish general elections, traces its roots to a banned Islamist movement.

Erdogan did not say what documentation he had, but referred to comments he said an Israeli cabinet minister had made before Egyptian parliamentary elections held after a popular uprising pushed President Hosni Mubarak from power.

“Before the 2011 elections, during a session in France, the justice minister and an intellectual from France - he’s Jewish too - they used exactly this comment: ‘Even if the Muslim Brotherhood wins the election, they will not win because democracy is not the ballot box’,” Erdogan said.

“That is exactly what happened,” he said in the comments aired live by state broadcaster TRT, without naming either the minister or the French intellectual.

Turkey’s relations with Israel have soured in recent years and hit a low in May 2010 when Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish activists while storming the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a convoy seeking to break an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.

Earlier this year, Erdogan called Zionism “a crime against humanity”, prompting objections from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. President Barack Obama subsequently orchestrated an Israeli apology for the Mavi Marmara raid.

At least two senior AK Party officials have suggested there was Jewish involvement in anti-government protests that rocked Turkey in late May and June.

Erdogan repeatedly blamed unnamed foreign circles for those protests, in what he deemed an anti-democratic effort to undo Turkey’s last three elections, in which the AK Party increased its share of the vote each time.

“The West needs to learn the definition of democracy, Erdogan said. “If it cannot … these clashes will carry the world towards a different place. What is that? It will take it towards autocratic regimes. That is our concern.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.