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Turkey’s spy-bust bombshell unlikely to further worsen ties with Israel

The Turkish media may be abuzz with reports about the foiling of a Mossad-run spy ring, but Israel appears unimpressed, and observers see no further deterioration in the already frosty bilateral relations.
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Amid an ongoing quest for normalization with Israel, Turkey last week dropped a bombshell about busting a Mossad spy ring, comprised of Arabs, including Palestinians, who allegedly spied on Palestinians in Turkey.

The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) monitored the suspects for a year before 15 people were detained in four Turkish provinces on Oct. 7, according to the government-controlled daily Sabah. The suspects were allegedly organized in three-member cells and met with their Mossad handlers in European cities such as Zagreb, Bucharest and Zurich as well as Nairobi, Kenya. The suspects allegedly used encrypted online applications such as Protonmail and SafeUM to pass information about Palestinians in Turkey, the activities of pro-Palestinian civic groups and the assistance the Turkish government offers to Palestinians. Mossad reportedly paid them sums of $1,000 to $10,000. All 15 suspects were imprisoned in Istanbul pending trial on charges of international espionage.

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