Israel detains Turkish party’s leader, officials in Tel Aviv

Israeli authorities detain Mustafa Destici, who is the leader of Turkey’s Grand Unity Party, and other party officials in the Tel Aviv airport.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

The Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici speaks to Turkish press following his delegation's arrival in Istanbul, Turkey on May 5, 2016.

Israeli police detained on Thursday morning the leader of a Turkish party and its high-ranking officials in Tel Aviv airport, Turkish media accounts have reported.

The Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici, his wife, and two party officials were briefly detained by the police when they were at the airport on their way back to Turkey.

Israeli authorities took testimonies of the party officials for no declared reason according to the official Twitter account of the party.

Destici and his party delegation visited Jerusalem for the holy Miraj night and they stayed there for four days. They visited Jerusalem's holy places, which are regarded sacred by Muslims worldwide. One of these places is the location Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven from according to the Islamic faith, and this occurrence is remembered by Muslims on the holy Miraj night. 

Destici has previously visited the Gaza Strip which could be a reason for his detention, media accounts have speculated.

Israel has been known for arbitrary detentions and interrogations of foreign nationals in the occupied territories based on their Muslim names or affiliations.

The BBP, which is an offshoot of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), is not represented in the Turkish Parliament and has distinguished itself with its conservative and nationalistic views.  

TRTWorld and agencies