Israeli Ambassador Na’eh: We have no evidence that Gülen movement behind coup attempt in Turkey

Israeli Ambassador Eitan Na'eh

Eitan Na’eh, Israeli Ambassador to Ankara, has stated that they have no evidence that the Gülen movement was behind the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. He has also said that “I can not confirm the words of British Ambassador Richard Moore.”

Eitan Na’eh, who was appointed as Israel Ambassador to Ankara in 2016 after the end of the 6-year diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel following the Mavi Marmara incident gave an interview to Hasan Mesut Önder from Turkish news outlet Ocak Media on Tuesday.

Ambassador Na’eh, who was the First Secretary of Israeli Embassy in London prior to his appointment to Ankara has said that “As the state of Israel, we can not confirm the words of the British Ambassador Richard Moore who said that the Gülen movement  was behind the coup attempt (on July 15, 2016).”

Stating that “I must say that, this is a treacherous coup attempt,” Na’eh added that “Since we did not have an ambassador here in that period, we could not follow the process clearly. I can not say anything clearly because we have no information channel at the point of who the perpetrators are. We follow the process like everyone else. We will wait for the results of the courts and see altogether who the perpetrators were … I appreciate what the British Ambassador Mr. Moore said. I can not make a definite comment because there is no evidence we have.”

The full text of the answer given by Ambassador Na’eh to the question asked by Önder as follow:

Ocak Media: “Finally, how does Israel see the July 15 coup attempt? British Ambassador Richard Moore said that the Gülen movement was behind the coup attempt; but they did not see this organization as a terrorist organization. What is your assessment of this issue?”

Ambassador Na’eh: “I was in London when the July 15 coup was attempted. I watched the developments on television. I must say that this is a treacherous coup attempt. We support the supremacy of law and democracy. We think that the government change must be made with legitimate elections.

“Since we did not have an ambassador here in that period, we could not follow the process clearly. I can not say anything clearly because we have no information channel at the point of who the perpetrators are. We follow the process like everyone else. We will wait for the results of the courts and see altogether who the perpetrators were…

“I appreciate what the British Ambassador Mr. Moore said. I can not make a definite comment because there is no evidence I have. This is a coup attempt and we declared it on July 17, 2016 immediately after the coup attempt.”

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempton July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15, 2016. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Contrary to accusations made by President Erdoğan and the Turkish government, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament concluded in March that Gülen and the movement he inspired as a whole were not behind the failed coup in Turkey.

The UK Parliament statement came a week after Germany rejected Erdoğan and the Turkish government’s accusations against the Gülen movement about July 15.

The head of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Bruno Kahl, said Turkey could not convince them that US-based Turkish-Islamic scholar Gülen was behind the failed coup in July.

Similarly, Devin Nunes, chairman of United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he has not seen any evidence showing Gülen’s involvement in the putsch in Turkey.

In addition, a report prepared by the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (IntCen) revealed that the coup attempt was staged by a range of Erdoğan’s opponents due to fears of an impending purge.

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