Turkey says it arrested Mossad cell working against 'Iranian targets'
The arrest operation follows a year and a half of the investigation, which was carried out in coordination with the Public Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul
Local Turkish media reported that the country's security services thwarted Mossad activities against Iran.
Authorities have reportedly identified 15 suspects, 11 of whom have been arrested, who allegedly were a part of a 23-person ring of operators, according to a report published on Tuesday by the Daily Sabah, a publication commonly seen as being pro Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to the publication, the 15 are reportedly suspected of using an Iranian-based organization to acquire information for the Israeli Mossad spy agency. This suspicion comes from both Turkey's National Intelligence Organization and the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.
Daily Sabah reported that the initial emphasis of the 18-month inquiry was on 23, including two Turkish citizens as suspects.
The report listed Selçuk Küçükkaya as the suspect ring's leader. According to Daily Sabah, the Gülen movement, an opposition network that Turkey has branded as a terrorist organization, is where Mossad allegedly found Küçükkaya.
Küçükkaya is said to have met with Mossad agents in Europe who recruited him after giving him five test assignments to set up a ring, track down people of interest, and send information to Mossad about "the family members of the target persons, phone calls and signal information, bank accounts, and assets," according to the report.
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Turkish media reported that last December, a group of people were also arrested on charges of collaborating with the Mossad.
Last October, the Turkish security authorities arrested 44 people working for the Mossad from inside Turkey, as the arrested were secretly conducting private investigations under the cover of consulting companies, in order to spy on Palestinian individuals and non-governmental organizations present in Turkey.
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