Turkey arrests 33 people on suspicion of working for Mossad

The dozens of arrests come after police raided 57 locations in eight provinces as part of ‘Operation Mole’


Turkish policemen have arrested 33 people suspected of spying for Mossad (Photo: Getty)

Turkey’s counter-terrorism bureau have detained 33 people suspected of spying for Israel’s Mossad intelligence service.
The suspects have been accused of targeting foreigners living in Turkey, interior minister Ali Yerlikaya said on Tuesday.

The dozens of arrests come after Turkish police raided 57 locations in eight provinces as part of an operation dubbed “Operation Mole”.

Yarlikaya claimed on X/Twitter that Mossad planned to “kidnap” foreigners in Turkey. She claimed: “We will never allow espionage activities against the national unity and solidarity of our country!”

Yerlikaya said that the suspects were discovered along with €143,830, $23,680, digital files and an unlicensed gun.

According to Turkish media reports, another 13 suspects remain at large.

Unlike most of its Western allies, Turkey does not classify Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

In December, Turkish officials warned Israel of “serious consequences” if it tried to hunt down members of the terrorist group in Turkey.

The arrests also follow comments by Ronen Bar, the head of Israel’s domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet, who said the Jewish state would find and kill Hamas leaders in “every location.”

In a voice recording aired by the Kan public broadcaster in December, Bar said Israel would hunt down Hamas leaders, “In Gaza, in the West Bank, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Qatar, everyone.”

He went on: “It will take a few years, but we will be there in order to do it.”

In response, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that if Israel and its operatives "commit such a mistake", they will pay "a very heavy price" for it.

The Reuters news agency quoted an unnamed Turkish intelligence official saying: “Necessary warnings were made to the interlocutors based on the news of Israeli officials’ statements, and it was expressed to Israel that (such an act) would have serious consequences.”

Since October 7, Erdoğan has stepped up his anti-Israel rhetoric. He has called Hamas “freedom fighters,” branded Israel a “terror state,” and referred to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “the butcher of Gaza.”

The Turkish president is reportedly in close contact with Hamas leadership and the terror group has operated an Istanbul office for over a decade.

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