Israel deports two detained Turks
JERUSALEM – Anadolu Agency
Israel has ordered the deportation of two of three Turks who were briefly detained during Palestinian demonstrations last week after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an Israeli Interior Ministry spokeswoman said on Dec. 25.
The three were detained on Dec. 22 on suspicion of assaulting Israeli police near the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as the capital of their own state. An Israeli court freed them without charges on Dec. 23.
Abdullah Kızılırmak and Mehmet Gargılı were deported and sent back to Istanbul at 4:20 p.m. on a Turkish Airlines plane.
She said all of them had entered Israel with Belgian passports.
Israeli police had described the three as Turkish tourists. The Interior Ministry spokeswoman said she had no information on the third Turk, Ahmet Koç, who had been arrested in the case.
Kızılırmak and Gargılı were accused of “battering Israeli police and resistance.”
Koç was accused of “disturbing public order and attending an illegal demonstration.”
Israeli police detained Kızılırmak and Kargılı, who tried to perform Friday prayers at Jerusalem’s contested al-Aqsa mosque, according to eyewitness accounts. An eyewitness said the pilgrims - Belgian-Turkish nationals - were wearing T-shirts with Turkish flags on them when they attempted to enter the holy compound.
On Dec. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite worldwide opposition.
The decision sparked angry demonstrations across the Muslim world. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other top Turkish officials have been at the international forefront opposing the U.S. move.
On Dec. 21, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution against the Trump decision by a vote of 128-9.