Turkiye arrests two more suspected spies for Israel

Turkiye arrests two more suspected spies for Israel

ANKARA (Reuters): Turkish authorities, who have denounced Israel for its war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, have arrested two people suspected of spying for Israeli intelligence, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on Friday.

Since January, Turkish authorities have detained or arrested and charged dozens of people suspected of having ties to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. Six people were charged last month.

Turkish and Israeli leaders have traded public barbs since Israel’s war with the Palestinian militant group Hamas began in October. Turkiye has warned Israel of “serious consequences” if it tries to hunt down Hamas members living outside the Palestinian territories, including in Turkiye.

In a post on social media platform X, Yerlikaya said police had detained eight people believed to be collecting and selling information to Mossad about targeted individuals and companies in Turkiye. Of those, two had been arrested and six released on parole, he said.

“We will never allow espionage activities that are carried out within our country’s borders against our people’s national unity and solidarity. We are in pursuit,” he said.

A Turkish security official said the raids, carried out in Istanbul, targeted a Turkish private detective and his wife, who were believed to have been involved with Mossad from 2011-2020.

The official said the detective had previously met Mossad members in Austria, Switzerland and Germany and used private communication channels to keep in touch with them.

The detective “earned significant income” from this and formed a network of nine people, the official said. Members of the network had confessed and the detective and his wife had been arrested, the person added.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

A Turkish court in January ordered the arrest of 15 people and the deportation of eight suspected of having links to Mossad and targeting Palestinians living in Turkiye.