Turkey Arrests 7 Individuals Suspected of Spying on Behalf of Israel

Individuals Suspected of Gathering Data on Turkish Entities, Allegedly Sold Information to Mossad

Turkish authorities have apprehended seven individuals suspected of trafficking information to the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya disclosed that the suspects were apprehended during synchronized raids in Istanbul on Tuesday. These detentions mark the latest development in a series of similar arrests across Turkey.

The suspects were taken into custody during simultaneous raids in Istanbul, the interior minister said [File: Umit Bektas/Reuters]
The suspects were taken into custody during simultaneous raids in Istanbul, the interior minister said [File: Umit Bektas/Reuters]

Yerlikaya indicated that the detainees are believed to have gathered data on Turkish individuals and businesses, subsequently selling it to Mossad. The raids were conducted in collaboration with Turkeyโ€™s National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

“We are adamant about preventing espionage activities within our borders. We will pursue them relentlessly and ensure they face justice,” asserted Yerlikaya.

A video released by the Interior Minister depicted police conducting raids in Istanbul residences, where firearms, narcotics, and electronic devices were seized.

As of now, it remains unclear whether any charges have been filed, with authorities refraining from providing further details.

Israel has yet to issue a response regarding the operation.

Wave of arrests

Last month, Turkish authorities arrested seven individuals on similar suspicions, while in early January, 34 people were detained by Turkish police over alleged espionage for Israel.

According to Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc, those arrested in January were accused of planning activities such as reconnaissance and the “pursuit, assault, and abduction” of foreign nationals residing in Turkey. Tunc noted that most of the suspects faced charges related to “political or military espionage” on behalf of Israeli intelligence.

As reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency, citing unnamed security officials, the individuals detained on Tuesday included a former civil servant now working as a private investigator. Allegedly trained by Mossad in Belgrade, Serbia, he purportedly gathered information on Middle Eastern entities and individuals, while also planting tracking devices in the vehicles of individuals targeted by Israeli intelligence. MIT stated that he received payments in cryptocurrency not documented in official records.

Despite the normalization of ties between Turkey and Israel in 2022, which saw the reappointment of ambassadors, relations soured swiftly with the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Ankara emerged as one of Tel Aviv’s most vocal critics during the military campaign in Gaza.

In December, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency declared readiness to target Hamas anywhere, including in Lebanon, Turkey, and Qatar. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan swiftly warned of “serious consequences” should Israel target anyone on Turkish soil.

Atif Wattoo
Atif Wattoohttp://globalnewsone.com
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