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Türkiye detains 33 people suspected of spying for Israel

Turkish police detained 33 people suspected of spying for Israel’s Mossad intelligence service and of targeting foreign nationals living in Turkey, Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on Tuesday.

The arrests followed an investigation launched by the Istanbul prosecutor office’s terrorism and organized crimes investigation bureau, Yerlikaya said.

He said on social media platform X that the suspects were believed to be aiming to identify, monitor, assault and kidnap foreign nationals living in Türkiye. Authorities were still searching for 13 other people believed to have links to Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, Turkish Anadolu Agency reported.

“We will never allow espionage activities to be conducted against the national unity and solidarity of our country,” Yerlikaya said on social media.

The police carried out simultaneous raids on 57 addresses in eight provinces, and seized large amounts of foreign currencies, an unlicensed gun, many cartridges and digital materials, he added.

Asked about the arrests, Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry did not immediately comment.

Last month, Turkish officials warned Israel of “serious consequences” if it tried to hunt down members of the militant group Hamas living outside Palestinian territories, including in Türkiye, Reuters reported.

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: People gathered around the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, Türkiye, January 1, 2024. /CFP)


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