Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek has alleged that last week’s deadly attacks on a French satirical magazine and a kosher supermarket in Paris that left 17 people dead are the result of France expressing support for Palestine, and that Israeli intelligence is behind the attacks, the semi-official Anadolu news agency reported.
According to a report from Anadolu circulating in the Turkish media, Gökçek attended the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Gölbaşı youth branch fourth ordinary district congress on Sunday and mentioned the terrorist attacks in France. He said Israel was annoyed with the lower house of French parliament for voting for the recognition of a Palestinian state and with France’s vote in favor of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for the same recognition.
“Israel certainly doesn’t want this sentiment to expand in Europe. That’s why it is certain that Mossad is behind these kinds of incidents. Mossad enflames Islamophobia by causing such incidents,” Gökçek said.
He claimed that after the Paris attacks, around 50 mosques and some Muslim individuals had been targeted but such incidents were not reported on by the international media.
“Palestine being recognized as a state is why these [attacks] have taken place,” he concluded.
The Paris attacks, in which journalists and policemen were among those killed, began with a shooting at the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper on Jan. 7, and ended with people being taken hostage at a kosher supermarket on Jan. 9. The four victims killed in the supermarket attack were all Jews.
Gökçek, known for his controversial remarks, also recently claimed that black ice on the roads of Ankara, which caused more than 100 traffic accidents last month, was the work of unidentified people who deliberately turned on garden sprinklers by the roadside to cause ice to form.
Last summer, Gökçek also tweeted that the Israeli consulate in Turkey should be closed. “We don’t want a representative of murderers in Turkey,” he said.
In 2013, he launched a Twitter campaign against BBC Turkish service journalist Selin Girit for her reporting on a meeting held by protesters at Yoğurtçu Park in İstanbul via social media, accusing Girit of being an “English agent” and of engaging in “treachery to her nation.”