The Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon said that ISIS has been funded with Turkish money for a long time.
He said that Turkey supports terror instead of combating it and has permitted ISIS to enjoy “Turkish money for oil”.
Speaking to reporters in Athens on Tuesday, Ya’alon said: “As you know, Daesh enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time. I hope that it will be ended” adding that Istanbul had become the “Hamas’ terror headquarters outside of Gaza.”
Ya’alon said that “It’s up to Turkey, the Turkish government, the Turkish leadership, to decide… should all these stop, and Turkey will be willing to reconcile with us, then Turkey can be part of the collaborative regional effort to fight terror – instead of supporting it.”
According to the defense minister, despite past good relations between the two countries, the Turkish government has chosen to deteriorate relations with Jerusalem, with the Gaza flotilla being “the highet of provocation.”
Ya’alon said that destroying “ISIS will take time, but it is possible,” explaining that “ISIS is in Syria, Iraq, [Egypt’s] Sinai, Libya, and their murderous ideology is now everywhere, including Western nations in which terrorists inspired by ISIS launch terror attacks.”
Israel and Greece regularly hold joint military exercises, usually with their respective air forces and navies. Ya’alon and Greek Defense Minister Kammenos even signed a joint statement regarding the two Mediterranean countries cooperation.
Turkey has denied permitting oil smuggling by the Islamist militant group, which holds swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. The United States last month rejected Russian allegations that the Turkish government and President Tayyip Erdogan’s family were in league with Islamic State to smuggle oil.
However, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said last month that ISIS was selling oil to middlemen who in turn were involved in smuggling the oil across the frontier to Turkey.
Efforts by Israel and Turkey to normalize ties hit a setback this month when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said there was no agreement on Ankara’s demands for compensation for the deaths of 10 Turkish activists on an aid ship in 2010 or for an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Senior Israeli and Turkish officials met in December to try to repair relations, raising hopes of progress in negotiations to import Israeli natural gas, particularly since Turkey’s relationship with Russia has worsened over the Syria conflict.