Turkish interior minister reveals details on detained Mossad cell

Turkish interior minister reveals details on detained Mossad cell
Turkey's interior minister said two people suspected of collaborating with Israel were operating in other countries as well.
2 min read
08 April, 2024
The arrests were announced last week [Getty]

Suspects arrested in Turkey for collaborating with Israeli intelligence had been spying on Turkish companies and operating in other states, the country’s interior minister revealed.

Interior minister Ali Yerlikaya announced on social media platform X that two suspects have been kept in detention while six others were released.

The suspects held meetings with members of the Mossad, Turkish judicial and security authorities found, according to the minister.

One of the suspects carried out espionage activity in Georgia, Germany, Turkey, and other Middle Eastern countries, according to local media which cited Turkish intelligence sources.

The suspects had reportedly obtained official documents for taxis and trucks, as well as special permits for commercial land transportation trips in several Middle Eastern countries. The arrests were announced last week.

Yerlikaya said last week: "We will never allow espionage activities that target our national unity and solidarity to take place within the borders of our country."

Dozens of people, including private detectives, have been detained in Turkey since January on suspicion of spying for Israel, mostly on Palestinians living in Turkey.

Turkey and Israel normalised ties in 2022 by reappointing ambassadors following years of tension.

However, those links quickly deteriorated after the start of Israel’s war on Gaza six months ago.

In December, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said that his organisation was prepared to target members of Hamas group anywhere, including in Lebanon, Turkey, and Qatar.

Soon after, Saleh al-Arouri, a Hamas military commander, was assassinated in an airstrike in January which targeted a southern Beirut suburb.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Israel of "serious consequences" if Israel pressed ahead with its threat to attack Hamas officials on Turkish soil.

Agencies contributed to this report.