Turkish President repeats claims of connection between Mossad and Kurdish referendum.
By Elad Benari – Arutz Sheva
TTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday again claimed there is a connection between the Israeli Mossad and the recently-held referendum by the Kurds in northern Iraq, claims which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has already denied.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Erdogan said Wednesday, according to Turkey’s Anadolu news agency, “What is the referendum organized by northern Iraq’s regional administration for? No country in the world apart from Israel recognizes it.”
“A decision made at the table with Mossad is not legitimate, it is illegitimate,” he added.
Erdogan made similar comments last Saturday, claiming Israel’s intelligence agency played a role in the September 25 referendum, citing as proof the waving of Israeli flags during celebrations for the overwhelming “yes” victory.
“This shows one thing, that this administration [in northern Iraq] has a history with Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.
Netanyahu on Sunday denied the claims, noting Turkey’s support for the Islamist Hamas movement which rules Gaza, before denying Erdogan’s charge.
“I can understand why those who support Hamas want to see the Mossad wherever things don’t work out for them,” Netanyahu said. “But Israel had no part in the Kurdish referendum, aside from the deep, natural and years-long sympathy of the Jewish people to the Kurdish people and its aspirations.”
Turkey fiercely opposed the referendum and has threatened sanctions against the region, reflecting its worries about its own sizeable Kurdish minority.
Iran similarly rejected the referendum, and Rouhani said the poll was an attempt by “some foreigners” to create sectarian and ethnic strife.
“Some foreigners plan to split the area to increase ethnic and sectarian discrimination. Both countries do not accept such acts of discrimination,” he said.
“Whatever name they give to it, we will fight against terrorism. The terrorists should know that we will not allow their brutal acts,” added Rouhani, though he did not specifically say who he was referring to.
Erdogan was not the only one to suggest there was an Israeli connection to the Kurdish referendum. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed on Saturday that the vote was a “plot” by the United States and Israel.
Nasrallah has previously claimed that the U.S. and Israel were responsible for the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS).