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!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • 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.