ISTANBUL: In a significant development, Turkey detained 33 individuals on Tuesday, suspected of espionage on behalf of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service. Although the specific nationalities of the detainees were not disclosed, reports indicated that the arrests took place in coordinated raids across eight provinces surrounding Istanbul. The nature of the alleged mission involved activities such as abductions and reconnaissance work.
Turkish authorities are actively pursuing an additional 13 suspects linked to what has been described as “international espionage” carried out in Israel’s interests. These detentions contribute to the escalating tensions between Turkey and Israel, a deterioration that gained momentum with the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged as a vehement critic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of recent events. Erdogan’s condemnation reached a notable peak when he compared Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler in a public statement.
Responding to the strained diplomatic ties, Erdogan took decisive actions such as recalling Ankara’s envoy from Tel Aviv and demanding that Israeli commanders and political leaders face trial for alleged war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The conflict in Gaza marked the abrupt end to a brief period of thawing relations between Turkey and Israel, which had been effectively frozen for much of the past decade. This recent development underscores the depth of the current geopolitical rift, highlighting the challenges in restoring diplomatic ties between the two nations. The spying allegations add a layer of complexity to an already strained relationship, raising questions about the broader implications for regional dynamics.