2 Israelis said arrested in Turkey in unclear circumstances

Foreign Ministry says it’s aware of the arrests and dealing with situation, but does not give details; incident comes a month after reports Turkey broke up a Mossad spy ring

Illustrative: Turkish police seen in Ankara, Turkey, June 29, 2021. (AP Photo/ Burhan Ozbilici)
Illustrative: Turkish police seen in Ankara, Turkey, June 29, 2021. (AP Photo/ Burhan Ozbilici)

Two Israelis have been arrested in Turkey under circumstances that were not immediately clear, the Kan state broadcaster reported Wednesday.

The report did not identify the two or say where they were held or why. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the news channel that the ministry was aware of the situation and dealing with it, offering no further details.

The arrests came a month after Turkey’s Sabah daily reported that 15 men who allegedly spied for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency were arrested by authorities.

Sabah, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also carried an interview with one of the detainees, whom it identified only by his initials M.A.S, who described how he was unwittingly recruited.

It also published photos of the 15 men.

The photos appeared to be mugshots of the men taken by Turkish authorities and were accompanied by initials claiming to represent their names. No further details were reported by the paper.

There has been no official confirmation from Turkey on the arrests.

The chairman of the powerful Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has said none of the men were Mossad agents.

MK Ram Ben-Barak, a former deputy director of the Mossad intelligence agency, also suggested the Turkish government is eager to show its intelligence “achievements,” resulting in the occasional publication of false information.

“None of the published names were [of] Israeli spies and therefore, it should be put in proportion,” he told Channel 12.

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