Turkey denies probe into Jewish citizens

Turkey denies probe into Jewish citizens

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey denies probe into Jewish citizens

People sign a wall ahead of a court trial on Mavi Marmara incident in Ankara.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry refuted media reports claiming an inquiry had been conducted on Jewish citizens of Turkey and that some institutions in Turkey, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had recently prepared and presented a study to a court in order to identify Jewish citizens in Turkey, who participated in the Mavi Marmara raid.

“There is no basis for this news, published with reference to some Turkish institutions. It is clear that these press reports, which have been picked up by the foreign press, particularly in the U.S., have been exploited and led to some misperceptions,” Selçuk Ünal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said Dec. 22.

On Dec. 14, a Turkish daily claimed Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had identified five Turkish citizens who it claimed were among the Israeli troops who raided the Mavi ship in 2010 and that MİT had sent the names of the five Turkish citizens to a court hearing the case. The names and addresses of the five were identified at the request of the prosecutor’s office, said the reports. “We are also saddened to see that the way developments regarding these legal proceedings in Turkey are presented has been discomforting and troubling for our Jewish citizens,” said the ministry’s statement.

‘No anti-Semitism’

Turkey could not accept such “generalization and presentation of allegations regarding possible perpetrators of the incident in a way that targets the Turkish Jewish community who are a part of society and equal citizens of Turkey,” Ünal also said.

“There has never been anti-Semitism in any part of our history and there will never be. Racism does not exist in the culture and the tradition of the Turkish nation. Turkey has repeatedly said it considers anti-Semitism and racism as crimes against humanity.”