PM Bennett meets Israeli couple released from Turkish prison


(Arutz Sheva Staff) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met today (Monday) with Natali and Mordy Oknin, the Israeli couple who were released from Turkish prison last week.

“How good it is that you came home,” the prime minister told the family, “I am so happy. I saw your prayers and was very moved.”




The couple described their harrowing experience last week following their return to Israel.

“I received the news yesterday at seven in the evening when they opened the cell and told me I was free,” Mordi said in an interview with Michal Rabinovich on Kan 11.

“We were afraid it would take longer, but it was fast. We were afraid it might end badly,” Natali added. “We knew they would not leave us there, we knew they would save us, we knew they would move mountains, that’s what kept me going.”


She recounted their conversation with Prime Minister Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid upon their return on Thursday morning. “They told us what they did for us, the conversations with the family, the conversations with everyone, not too many details,” said Mordy. On conditions in prison the two only said that they were treated reasonably and that “everything was done in an orderly fashion.”

Natali described the moments of the arrest and her assumption that it was probably due to her act of taking a photograph of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s palace: “I took the picture and sent it to the family group on WhatsApp. Within two minutes they approached us and started asking questions. They took the phone, saw the picture and started asking what and why. It’s because of what I did, unfortunately. I took a picture and marked a circle. I suppose I shouldn’t have done that.”

“We told them that everyone was filming there,” said Mordy, who added that the two were not thinking of returning to Turkey at any point in the near future. “It’s wonderful to be home, surrounded by people who care about us,” he said, and Natali added: “We are still traumatized, but time will heal these things. It’s been our personal miracle. Eight days, like the jug of oil.”

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