Israelis living in and visiting Turkey apprehensive after latest arrests

Amid the arrests of Israeli citizens Natali and Mordy Oaknin in Istanbul, Turkey, last Thursday, Israelis living in or planning to travel to Turkey have become concerned about the situation, with many canceling planned trips to Turkey and Israelis located in cities. Turkish. reporting increased anxiety and fear.

Carolyn Bar-Shalom, who has been to Istanbul several times and is currently on vacation there, told Maariv that “my friends and I usually speak Hebrew during trips to Turkey, (but) this time we would speak Russian or Georgian, and also We try (not to) say that we are from Israel, because we are afraid of taking unnecessary risks. “

“If I was in Turkey three weeks or six months ago, then I would feel completely safe, now I feel less safe because I see that such a delusional case can happen to anyone,” said Etty Katsav, an Israeli currently residing in Turkey. .

Vered Shevach, an expert on Turkish culture and owner of the tourism company, shared some of the concerns mentioned. “Since the case began to make headlines in the country, many Israelis have begun to fear going to Turkey. There are those who hesitate to travel, and some even cancel flights.”

Natali and Mordy Oaknin were arrested on charges of alleged espionage after the couple was caught taking a photo of the presidential palace of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The police initially recommended deporting them, although prosecutors decided to charge them with “political or military espionage.” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday that the Oaknins are “two innocent citizens who accidentally ended up in a complex situation.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a meeting with EU Council President Charles Michel in Brussels, Belgium, on March 9, 2020 (Credit: REUTERS / FRANCOIS LENOIR / FILE PHOTO)

Some Israelis, however, do not believe the situation affects their current plans in the Middle Eastern nation of more than 84 million.

“The attitude here is amazing,” says Nathaniel Buda, an Israeli living in Turkey. “You don’t feel anything about this event, on the contrary, when you walk into the store and the salesperson tells you that you are from Israel, the attitude is better, they serve you their tea and food, and they are warm people. “

Most Turkish residents are possibly completely unaware of the story, Shevach told Maariv.

“The Turkish media does not report this at all. On Tuesday, there was a single miserable report on Turkish television that two Israelis had been captured who would likely release them in a few days, and the written media wrote that the Israeli media were lying. and telling distorted stories about the Israeli couple.

While the story remains of enormous importance in the Israeli media, Israeli and local resident Yiftach Maoz believes there will be no noticeable long-term impact. “When this matter is over, the Israelis will return to Turkey as usual, because this is an exceptional case, and I believe that the Israelis will not leave Turkey so easily in the long run.”

“It is important that Israelis know how to behave in Istanbul by taking local rules as a guide,” concludes Shevach. “We need to know in advance where we are going, what is the code of conduct, especially when it comes to a foreign country, especially a Muslim country. We need to know in advance how to behave, how we are expected to dress.” in the streets, and in which places it is allowed to photograph.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *