Israel detains Turkish citizen who was visiting Jerusalem

Israeli police detain Orhan Buyruk, who came to the country along with a tour group to visit Al Aqsa Mosque.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Orhan Buyruk has been in an Israeli prison for the last 16 days. (File photo)

Israeli police detained a Turkish citizen, Orhan Buyruk, on September 28 shortly after questioning him at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on suspicion that he was "an agent."

Buyruk has been in prison for the last 16 days, according to Turkish media reports.

Buyruk’s lawyer in Turkey, Ahmet Akif Demir, said that his client landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on September 28. He had come to the country on a tourist visa, along with a tour group.

Buyruk was in Israel to visit Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 

Israeli police detained him shortly after questioning him at the airport.

Orhan Buyruk had travelled to Israel to visit Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, October 14. Picture: family members and supporters of  Orhan Buyruk protest outside the Israeli embassy. (Source: Milliyet)

Buyruk had previously visited Jerusalem without encountering any problems, Demir said:

"The sole purpose of Buyruk’s visit was to travel to Jerusalem to visit Masjid al-Aqsa, the first qiblah (direction of prayer) of Muslims. 

"According to information I obtained from the lawyer overseeing this case in Israel, he (Buyruk) has been accused of something along the lines of 'being an agent for Iran and also giving information about Israel to an Iranian friend he had on his Facebook account.'

"This is a completely false accusation that has no foundation. Also the prosecutor who made the accusation has no evidence."

Demir completely objects to the accusations made against his client Buyruk, who owns a tourism company in Turkey.

The Israeli lawyer working on the case wanted extra time because "due to the Jewish holidays in Israel he was unable to collect the necessary evidence," Demir said.

The hearing has been postponed to October 20, he added.

Demir said Buyruk appeared before a court ten days after being detained and only then was he able to speak with his lawyer.

"As far as I understand, Israeli officials want to put psychological pressure on Buyruk by keeping him inside."

The foreign press spokesman for the Israeli police, Micky Rosenfeld, said, "there is no information regarding the detainment of Buyruk."

People protested outside of the Israeli Embassy in Istanbul on Friday for Buyruk to be released and returned to Turkey. The protests were supported by non-governmental organisations, lawyers and volunteers.

Buyruk's friends and family gave public statements in front of the Israeli Embassy in Istanbul: 

TRTWorld and agencies