Turkish Authorities Detain 33 Suspected of Spying for Israel

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Reversal in Relations Amidst Gaza Attacks

The recent escalation in attacks on Gaza has significantly strained the normalization of relations between Turkey and Israel, leading to a sharp reversal in diplomatic ties. In a recent development, Turkish authorities have detained 33 individuals suspected of espionage on behalf of Israel. The detentions, carried out in Istanbul and seven other provinces, are part of an investigation into activities that reportedly include “reconnaissance” and planning to “pursue, assault, and kidnap” foreign nationals residing in Turkey.

Ongoing Search for Mossad-Linked Individuals

While 33 suspects are already in custody, authorities are actively searching for an additional 13 individuals believed to have connections to Israel’s Mossad security service. The Turkish state-run news agency, Anadolu, did not provide specific details about the detained suspects or the targeted foreigners. The arrests come in the wake of statements from Israel’s domestic security agency, Shin Bet, expressing readiness to take action against Hamas not only in Israel but also in Lebanon, Turkey, and Qatar.

Erdogan’s Warning and Deterioration of Relations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a stern warning to Israel, cautioning of “serious consequences” if it proceeded with threats to attack Hamas officials on Turkish soil. The deterioration of relations follows a brief period of normalization in 2022, marked by the reappointment of ambassadors. However, the Israel-Hamas conflict quickly strained these ties, with Turkey becoming a vocal critic of Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Escalating Rhetoric and Accusations

Erdoğan’s response to the Israel-Hamas war has evolved from initial restraint to heightened criticism. He has characterized Israel’s actions in Gaza as approaching “genocide” and called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be prosecuted for “war crimes,” drawing parallels to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Erdoğan’s government, known for hosting several Hamas officials in the past, contends that the militant group is fighting for the liberation of its lands and people, diverging sharply from Israel, the United States, and the European Union’s designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Shifting Dynamics and Ongoing Hostilities

The detention of individuals suspected of spying for Israel adds another layer of complexity to the already strained relations between Turkey and Israel. The ongoing search for Mossad-linked individuals, coupled with Erdogan’s strong rhetoric, underscores the shifting dynamics in the region and the continued hostilities arising from the Israel-Hamas conflict.

SOURCE: Image Ref from France 24

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