An audio recording purporting to come from the second-most senior man in the Al Qaeda militant Islamist group has appealed to the people of Turkey. Ayman al-Zawahri – if it is him as authenticity could not be verified – called on Turks to demand that their government pull its troops out of Afghanistan. Nato-member Turkey’s troops in Afghanistan are not engaged in combat.
The message also called for severing ties with Israel. This coincides with deteriorating relations between Turkey and Israel after its commandos killed nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists in a sea raid as they tried breaking Israel’s blockade off the Gaza Strip in May.
The voice on the 20-minute recording played on the anti-Israel feelings stirred up and said: “The Turkish people should regain the glorious role once played by the Ottoman (Empire) to defend Islam in general and Palestine in particular.”