Israeli Military Secrets in Iranian Hands? Barak Concerned
The appointment of Turkey's new National Intelligence Organization head, Hakan Fidan, could end with classified Israeli information in the hands of Iran, a worried Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a conversation broadcast by Army Radio.
Fidan “supports Iran,” Barak said in a private Labor party conference. “There are quite a few [Israeli] secrets in their hands,” he said of the Turkish intelligence organization. “The thought that they may now be open to Iran is disturbing.”
During the conference Barak referred to Turkey as “a strategic ally.”
Ties between Israel and Turkey have been strained for some time. Relations were frozen following the flotilla incident, in which armed Turkish activists attacked IDF soldiers who boarded a Gaza-bound boat, sparking a battle in which nine Turkish citizens were killed.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that Israel apologize for the incident and cooperate with an international investigative committee.
Erdogan decided to appoint Fidan at approximately the same time as the flotilla incident. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quoted in Israeli media as saying that Fidan was chosen more for his religious affiliation than his background.
Fidan previously served as Turkey's undersecretary for foreign affairs and represented Turkey in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).