Natali and Mordy Oknin, the Israeli couple who were released from Turkish prison and allowed to return to Israel on Thursday, described their ordeal in conversations with Israeli media.
"I received the news yesterday at seven in the evening when they opened the cell and told me I was free," Mordy said in an interview with Kan 11.
"We were afraid it would take longer, but it was fast. We were afraid it might end badly," Natali added. "All the same, we knew they would not abandon us; we knew they would do what they could to save us, we knew they would move mountains; that's what kept me going."
She recounted their conversation with Prime Minister Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid upon their return on Thursday morning. "They told us what they did for us, the conversations with the family, the conversations with everyone, not too many details," said Mordy. On conditions in prison the two only said that they were treated reasonably and that "everything was done in an orderly fashion."
Natali described the moments of the arrest and her assumption that it was probably due to her act of taking a photograph of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's palace: "I took the picture and sent it to the family group on WhatsApp. Within two minutes they approached us and started asking questions. They took the phone, saw the picture and started asking what and why. It's because of what I did, unfortunately. I took a picture and marked a circle. I suppose I shouldn't have done that."
"We told them that everyone was filming there," said Mordy, who added that the two were not thinking of returning to Turkey at any point in the near future. "It's wonderful to be home, surrounded by people who care about us," he said, and Natali added: "We are still traumatized, but time will heal things. It's been our personal miracle. Eight days, like the jug of oil."
Natali said that she did not eat much while in prison. "I keep kosher, so all I had to eat were scraps of bread and water," she told Channel 12 News.