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Resignations of key Turkish army officials concern Israel

JTA

August 1, 2011 | 10:04 am

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2010. Photo by Wilson Dias/ABr.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2010. Photo by Wilson Dias/ABr.

Israeli officials reportedly are concerned over the resignation of the head of the Turkish armed forces and three other senior officers.

“This move plays right into the hands of Islamic extremists and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan,” an unnamed official told the Ynet Israeli news service, citing unnamed officials.

The official called the July 29 resignations “troubling because it means the last fortress against Islam has collapsed.”

Officials told Ynet that the turmoil in Turkey could hurt any possibility of reaching an agreement between Turkey and Israel on the Palmer Report dealing with the deadly 2010 flotilla raid that led to the deaths of nine Turkish activists, including a Turkish American, aboard the Mavi Marmara.

The resignations reportedly came following tensions between the officers and Erdogan over the army’s demand that dozens of officers held on suspicion of involvement in an alleged anti-government plot be promoted.

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