Turkey claims it has broken up Mossad spy network, arrests 33 ‘spies’

Thirty-three alleged operatives were detained for supposedly tracking “foreign nationals” in a possible attempt to kidnap or kill them.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Turkish security forces have arrested 33 people in eight provinces who are being accused of belonging to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.

The Anadolu news agency reported that police raided 57 locations throughout the country as part of a counter-terrorism operation. The state mouthpiece said that the targets were suspected of attempting to identify, track, and possibly attack or kidnap “foreign nationals” living in Turkey.

Thirteen others are still being sought in the supposed conspiracy.

In November, six weeks after Israel declared war on Hamas following its surprise invasion where its fighters massacred 1,200 people in Gazan envelope communities and a dance rave, and kidnapped some 250, including infants and the elderly, top Israeli politicians threatened Hamas leaders everywhere.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had directed the Mossad “to act against Hamas leaders wherever they are.” In parallel, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that “They are living on borrowed time. The struggle is worldwide: From gunmen in the field to those who are enjoying luxury jets while their emissaries are acting against women and children — they are destined to die.”

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Turkey does not consider Hamas a terrorist organization as Israel, the U.S., Canada, Germany, and other Western countries do, and many top Hamas officials freely visit and live in the country.

After condemning the October 7th attack in which the Iranian proxy committed war crimes such as systematically raping women and beheading babies, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan soon went after Israel instead.

By October 25 he was defending Hamas as a “liberation group” that “wanted to protect its people” and blasting IDF airstrikes on military sites in Gaza as “murder.” By early November, the two countries had withdrawn their ambassadors, after having reinstated full diplomatic relations only several months earlier, and Erdogan revved up his anti-Israel rhetoric.

Early last month, he called Prime Minister Benjamin a “war criminal” who would be “tried as the butcher of Gaza” in the International Criminal Court. Last week, Erdogan compared Israel to Nazi Germany, an equivalence that he has made numerous times in the past when championing the Palestinian cause.

“What Netanyahu is doing is no less than what Hitler did,” he said, as he repeated the Hamas claim that “20,000 Gazans” have died since Israel declared war following the massacre.

Hamas deliberately makes no distinction between civilians and armed forces in its count, to put Israel into as bad a light as possible. According to Israel’s data, the IDF has killed over 8,000 Hamas terrorists in the ongoing war, meaning that the ratio of non-combatant to combatant deaths is not even 2 to 1, a ratio that many military experts agree is astonishingly good in wartime.

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This is not the first time that Turkish authorities have made mass arrests of alleged Israeli spies who were tracking foreign nationals. Well before the war, in July, seven people were caught and reportedly confessed to working for the Mossad. According to the local press, this led to 56 operatives being identified in all. This followed an arrest operation in May, and a previous one in December 2022, when 44 were detained as part of an alleged Israeli spy ring.