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Turkish minister: Detained Israeli couple ‘marked’ Erdogan’s residence

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)

Turkey’s interior minister claims an Israeli couple arrested for photographing a presidential palace in Istanbul was not doing so innocently, in the first official Turkish comment on the matter.

Minister Suleyman Soylu tells reporters that the Israelis “focused” on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s residence while photographing it and “marked it.”

He also says prosecutors believe Mordy and Natali Oknin committed “what can be called diplomatic and military espionage,” but that the court will decide.

Israel has firmly and formally rejected the allegation that the Oknins are Israeli spies.

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