Israeli Leader Accuses Turkey of Harboring al-Qaeda

Israel's Head of Military Intelligence, Major-General Aviv Kochavi

TEL AVIV (Reuters)—Some of the al-Qaeda militants going to fight in Syria have bases in neighbouring Turkey and can easily access Europe from the NATO member state, Israel’s military intelligence chief said on Jan. 29.

Major-General Aviv Kochavi, presenting a map of the Middle East marked with areas of al-Qaeda presence, told a security conference al-Qaeda fighters from around the world entered Syria weekly, “but they do not stay” there.

The map showed three al-Qaeda bases inside Turkey. A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly denied Turkey is providing shelter or backing to al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria.

Kochavi declined a request by Reuters to give specific numbers, but his spokeswoman said the map showed the relative strength and location of al-Qaeda bases, which appeared to be in the Karaman, Osmaniye and Şanlıurfa provinces.

“Syria is projecting its conflict to the whole region. Those blotches (on the map) in Turkey are no mistake by the graphic artist and it is a short way from there into Europe,” Kochavi said at the conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

The spots on the map signifying al Qaeda in Turkey were together about half the size of the blotch in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula, which Kochavi said was home to about 200 Jihadi militants.

Turkish anti-terrorist police raided the offices of an aid agency on the border with Syria this month, as part of what Turkish media said was an operation in six cities against individuals suspected of links to al Qaeda.

Turkey has maintained an open-door policy throughout the Syrian conflict, providing a lifeline to rebel-held areas by allowing humanitarian aid in, giving refugees a route out and letting the rebel Free Syrian Army organise on its soil.

But the rise of al-Qaeda-linked groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in parts of northern Syria near the border has left Ankara open to accusations it is lending support to radical Islamists.


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  1. Hagop said:

    Yes, really what ? Israel seems the last one to discover this reality? but why Israel do not say even a word about the Azerbaijani of Al Qaeda in Syria and Turkey and keep arming Azerbaijan

  2. Zareh said:

    You mean they just realized about Turkey harboring al-Qaeda.
    I guess it’s time for someone to tell Obambi about this “new” revelation.
    This whole thing Turkey being a modern Islamic Democracy is just an excuse to keep Turkey in NATO. I never understood why Turkey should continue to stay in NATO unless Obambi wants Turkey to pass NATO secrets to our enemies.

    • Rafael said:

      Trust me jews hates the turks i can say that for sure. They are just pretending that they like them. The only reason people think they like them is because they buy weapen from each other. and am saying this as an jew myself.

  3. Troy said:

    Turkey is was and always will be Islamic, as such they despise the Jew and hate the Christian. Turkey’s history is a shameful one… based on genocide and discrimination against the Jew and Christian always in the name of their demonic allah. Turkey is only Democratic as long as its serves it their purpose in enriching them with grants and weapons.

    • GB said:

      Don’t forget that Turkish allah is different form the rest of allahs world. He is the only one, who guide his people toward destruction of others civilization, that no other allah has done before!!

    • Gil said:

      “Turkey’s history is a shameful one… based on genocide and discrimination against the Jew and Christian always in the name of their demonic allah”

      Genocide and discrimination against the Jews? Do your homework before you post this kind of brainless crap here.

  4. Gezi-ist said:

    How contradictory, people are finally waking up to the AKP party’s lies. I knew something was fishy about the AKP party ever since 2008 or 2009.

  5. tony Kouch said:

    Major-General Aviv Kochavi not so long ago Turkey was one of your allies? where they ? or was it only for political reasons? as the Head of Military intelligent now that you have proof that they are linked with AL Qaeda shouldn’t they be called Terrorist ? and cut ties with one of your allies ? but you also have to persuade your American allies ? now coming to Israel ? ( or should I call it Palestine ? ) when the English left in 1945 in the next 3 years to 1948 you created the so called State of Israel ? and said this is our land is it really ?( I can go on ) coming to one of your leaders Szymon Perski Peres that emigrated to Palestine from Poland . as a leader , in year 2000 in Ankara made a Statement and a comparison between ( his own words ) your Holocaust ? and the Armenian Genocide ? as an allegations that nothing similar to a Holocaust ? occurred ,for me I do not see any difference between Israel ? or Turkey .As an M G H M I what says you, do you think such leaders need respect ? hope to hear your reply