Turkey Troops photoFILE PHOTO: Members of Turkish Police Special Forces secure the area near the Interior Ministry following a bomb attack in Ankara, on October 1, 2023, leaving two police officers injured. (Adem ALTAN / AFP)

Turkey detains 33 for alleged Israeli spying

On Tuesday, Turkey said it had arrested 33 people who were allegedly involved in kidnapping plots and espionage activities for Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad.

The suspects were captured in operations that spanned Istanbul and seven other provinces, according to Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya.

He did not specify whether the suspects were Israelis or local collaborators of Mossad.

His office showed videos of armed security forces storming into houses and arresting the suspects.

The Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said there were still 13 more suspects on the run.

The operations came after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to take “serious actions” if Israel tried to harm any members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas residing or working in Turkey.

Erdogan accused Israel of carrying out a “sneaky operation and sabotage attempts” against Turkey and its interests.

He vowed to “definitely ruin this game” in a televised speech.

Turkey and Israel’s relations deteriorated sharply after the war in Gaza broke out almost three months ago.

Erdogan has become one of the most vocal critics of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the world.

He likened Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler last week and urged Israel’s Western allies to stop backing the “terrorism” committed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

He also withdrew Turkey’s ambassador to Tel Aviv and called for the prosecution of Israeli military and political leaders at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

His ruling Islamic conservative AKP party also mobilized tens of thousands of demonstrators in Istanbul on Monday for one of Turkey’s largest anti-Israel protests of the entire war.

Thaw over The war in Gaza put an end to a gradual improvement in Turkish-Israeli relations that resulted in the restoration of ambassadors in 2022.

Israel and Turkey had restarted talks on a major natural gas pipeline project in the Mediterranean Sea that could have changed the regional geopolitical balance.

Israel thanked Turkey in 2022 for arresting a group of Turkish and Iranian nationals who were allegedly planning to kill and abduct Israeli tourists in Istanbul.

Erdogan and Netanyahu had a brief meeting at the UN in New York in September and were planning to hold a formal summit this year.

The Turkish MIT intelligence service periodically conducts raids against suspected Israeli agents operating in major cities such as Ankara and Istanbul.

They are mostly charged with spying on Palestinians living in Turkey.

Istanbul was one of the foreign political bases of Hamas until the war in Gaza started.

Turkey unofficially asked Hamas leaders to leave, after militants attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing around 1,140 people — mostly civilians — based on an AFP count using official Israeli data.

The militants also seized around 250 people as hostages. Israeli authorities think more than half of them are still in Gaza.

The Gaza health ministry says Israel’s relentless military offensive, which it claims is aimed at wiping out Hamas, has claimed the lives of around 22,000 people in Gaza since October 7– mostly women and children.

UN agencies have expressed concern over a worsening humanitarian crisis affecting Gaza’s 2.4 million people, who are under siege and bombardment, most of them homeless and living in shelters and tents, with severe food shortages.


By dworldgist.com

Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of www.dworldgist.com and www.gospelrespec.com. He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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