Turkey summons Israel envoy over Barak's remarks

Appointed in May, Fidan was previously a foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey summons Israel envoy over Barak's remarks

Turkey's foreign ministry summoned Israeli ambassador to Turkey on Monday to express uneasiness over Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's remarks about Turkish intelligence chief, diplomats said on Tuesday.

Ehud Barak, according to leaked media reports, at a meeting of his Labor Party expressed concerns over Hakan Fidan, the new chief of Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT), saying Turkey could share Israeli intelligence secrets with Iran.

In his "leaked" comments, Barak described Turkey as a "friend and major strategic ally", however, he called Hakan Fidan a "friend of Iran".

"There are quite a few secrets of ours (entrusted to Turkey) and the thought that they could become open to the Iranians over the next several months, let's say, is quite disturbing," Barak said in his speech broadcast by the Israeli Army Radio.

Turkish Foreign Ministry diplomats voiced Turkey's displeasure of Barak's remarks at a meeting with Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Gaby Levy, sources said, Anadolu news agency reported.

Appointed in May, Fidan was previously a foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

According to Reuters news agency, political sources in Ankara said that Fidan, a former envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, was also involved in a Turkish- and Brazilian-brokered deal on Iran nuclear programme.

Israel attacked Syria in its 2007 air raid during which Israeli warplanes briefly flew over Turkish territory.

The Erdogan government was angered by that illegal incursion and has pointed to Israel's own nuclear arsenal.

Israel, most experts estimate that it has at least between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, often threatens the Islamic republic with an attack.

Turkey often calls for "fair" stance from global powers over nuclear activities in the region.

Ali Nihat Ozcan of the Ankara-based TEPAV think tank saw in Barak's remarks an effort at "psychological pressure" on Turkey.

Ankara has not commented publicly on the state of its intelligence ties with Israel. But some Turkish commentators questioned Israeli suspected ties with PKK militants in Iraq.


Agencies

Last Mod: 03 Ağustos 2010, 22:27
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