Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency retracts story on video cited by PM Erdoğan
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gestures as he gives a speech during a meeting at his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) party headquarters in Ankara, on August 20, 2013. AFP photo
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency has removed a story about an online video cited on Aug. 20 by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as proof that Israel was behind the coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
The story canceled by the agency cited Prime Ministry sources confirming that the prime minister referred to comments available in an online video from a seminar in mid-2011 involving French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy and Tzipi Livni, then the leader of Israel’s opposition and now justice minister. The agency, however, published the transcript of the video after it removed the story.
Separately, an aide told The Associated Press that the evidence Erdoğan was referring to was a video “available on the Internet” of a press conference by Livni and Lévy.
“What is said about Egypt? That democracy is not the ballot box. Who is behind this? Israel is. We have the evidence in our hands,” Erdoğan said Aug. 20 in Ankara.
The removal came as Ankara was criticized by the United States, Egypt and Israel on the same day. The White House condemned Erdoğan’s claim that Israel had a role in toppling ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Meanwhile, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Erdoğan’s claim “nonsense” as Egypt’s military-installed government said no one “sane or fair” could accept the prime minister’s allegation.