Turkey arrests dozens of suspected Mossad operatives for spying on students
Turkish authorities have arrested 44 suspected Israeli spies accused of gathering information on Palestinians and NGOs in the country, according to Turkish media reports.
The operation - a joint effort between Turkey’s police and National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) - targeted private companies offering investigative services to contacts in Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, according to the Daily Sabah.
Seven of the suspects are currently detained, while a further 13 are still wanted by police.
One of those arrested, named only as ‘I.Y’, had opened a private investigator firm in 2007, while another was identified as a university lecturer.
Police say the suspects admitted to being paid by Mossad to spy on Palestinians and Palestinian NGOs. The information was reportedly used by the Israeli intelligence agency to produce online defamation campaigns and threats.
The arrests follow a similar operation in 2021, in which Turkish intelligence surveilled a network of five cells working for Mossad. The operation led to the arrests of 15 people in four provinces.
Turkish authorities said the spies were feeding information to Israel on international students, particularly those with prospects of working in the defence industry.
Suspected Israeli operatives have been arrested in a number of countries in recent months, including in Lebanon, where 185 alleged spies were detained earlier this month.
In October, Malaysian authorities arrested several people in connection with the kidnap and attempted kidnap of two Palestinians in Kuala Lumpur in September.
One of the suspects reportedly ran a private investigation firm, according to media reports.