WikiLeaks revelations serving Israel: Turkish minister
A senior Turkish minister said on Thursday Israel seemed to be "benefitting" from the impact of US cables disclosed so far by the WikiLeaks website as he questioned whose interests the leaks served.world Updated: Dec 02, 2010 20:01 IST
A senior Turkish minister said on Thursday Israel seemed to be "benefitting" from the impact of US cables disclosed so far by the WikiLeaks website as he questioned whose interests the leaks served.
"One should analyse why this happened, who did it and why, who is benefitting and who is being harmed," Interior Minister Besir Atalay said in televised comments on the mass leak.
"It seems to us that the country which...is not mentioned much, especially in the Middle East, or which this development seems to favour is Israel... This is how we see it in a way when we look in the context of who is benefitting and who is being harmed," he said.
The foreign ministry has set up a team to analyse the scandal, he added.
A senior member of the ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) also pointed at Israel on Wednesday.
"One should look at which country is content (with the leaks). Israel is extremely content," AKP deputy chairman Huseyin Celik said, according to Anatolia news agency.
Turkey's ties with Israel, once its closest regional ally, plunged into a deep crisis on May 31 when Israeli forces killed nine Turks on a Gaza-bound aid ship.
Relations had been already strained over Israel's devastating war on Gaza last year, amid Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's frequent outbursts against the Jewish state and his defence of radical Palestinian group Hamas.
Israeli officials have said they are satisfied with the leaks, arguing the cables proved Israel's position on Iran was consistent and showed "the whole Middle East" worried about Tehran's nuclear programme.
The documents showed widespread concern over Iran and revealed that Saudi Arabia "repeatedly" urged a US military strike on the country.
In contrast, the leaks revealed US and Israeli unease over Turkey's close contacts with Iran and Erdogan's criticism of Israel.
Erdogan, a former Islamist, "hates Israel" on religious grounds, a cable by the US embassy in Ankara said, including also the Israeli ambassador's description of Erdogan as "a fundamentalist."
Another dispatch said Washington was "wondering if it could any longer count on Turkey to help contain Iran's profound challenge to regional peace."