A Turkish court has released a man accused of planning to murder Jewish and Christian leaders, according to Turkey’s Anatolia news agency. Suspect Ismet Recber was freed until the end of his trial.
Prosecutors say Recber planned the murder of rabbis and of Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Istanbul leader of Orthodox Christians.
He was arrested after an anonymous tip-off to authorities. Other Turkish citizens were on trial for allegedly plotting to bring down the government; the letter warned police that Recber had been chosen by one of the men on trial to carry out murders.
Ties between Israel and Turkey have grown increasingly cold in recent years as Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan moves closer to Hamas, Iran and Syria. The change has had a severe impact on Israeli tourism to Turkey, which dropped by 90% in 2010.
In May, Turkish police burst into an Istanbul synagogue during Sabbath prayer services and demanded to see worshipers’ identification, sparking fears of a crackdown on non-Muslim minorities.
Following a clash between IDF commandos and Turkish pro-terror activists who attempted to break a naval blockade on Hamas in May, 10,000 Turks marched in Istanbul and called for Israel to “drown in blood.”
Source material can be found at this site.