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Spotted in Istanbul: Former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak and his wife in Istanbul, May 4, 2013 (photo: Roee Ruttenberg)

Former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was spotted at an Istanbul airport this morning (Saturday). Barak was accompanied by his wife and a security guard. The trio was in transit and spent four hours in an airline lounge.

Barak served as defense minister during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 and the 2010 flotilla offensive, in which nine Turkish nationals were killed by Israeli commandos onboard the Mavi Marmara. Both events led to a severe deterioration in Israeli-Turkish relations, which were partly mended recently when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the incident. Negotiations over compensation for the families of the deceased are currently taking place.

Israeli officials, ministers and high ranking officers have avoided Turkey in recent years, also due to legal proceedings against those involved in the attack on the Flotilla.

Ehud Barak didn’t take part in the last Israeli elections and holds no official position in today. It is not clear whether his landing was coordinated with Turkish authorities. In the past, when Israeli officials or senior officers feared arrests during layovers, they preferred to stay on the plane.

Ehud Barak, his wife and a security guard in Istanbul, May 4, 2013 (photo: Roee Ruttenberg)

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    1. Jack

      well if there is a bus bombing in Istanbul we know who is behind it

      Reply to Comment
    2. Joel

      So what’s the point? I don’t get it.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Carl

      All in good time Joel, all in good time.

      Reply to Comment
    4. BK

      I saw a politician the other day. He opened up a library and he can hardly read and speak proper English himself. He used to be the PUSA. This article is ridiculous. This is not left wing twitter for Israelis and Palestinians and interested parties, this should be a more intellectual paper, no? Come on 972….walla.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Charles-Jerusalem

      This article was written to say that the journalist has absolutly nothing to say.

      Reply to Comment
    6. ToivoS

      This is news. Barak in Istanbul the same day Israel attacks Damascus. This story should become widely known to the Turkish people. It will help open up a political discussion. Why is Turkey and Israel collaborating in a war against Syria? A majority of the Turkish people have never supported their governments involvement in backing the rebels. Now that it is becoming clearer that Israel is part of the coalition, there could be more public calls for Turkish disengagement.

      Reply to Comment