Turkish security forces have arrested 44 people accused of spying on Palestinian citizens, institutions and non-governmental organisations for Israeli national intelligence agency Mossad.
A counter-terrorism operation, jointly organised by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and Istanbul Police, nabbed the suspects, Turkish media reported on Wednesday.
Posing as employees for a consulting company out of Istanbul, the suspects provided information on Palestinians in Türkiye to Mossad in exchange for money.
This information then helped Mossad launch threats and slander campaigns against Palestinians through social media.
Israel has not responded to the allegations.
Founder of detective company
Among those arrested was the founder and president of the Private Detectives Association, Ismail Yetimoglu, Sabah newspaper reported. The company was founded in 2007.
He took the oath of private detective in 2003 after retiring from his 23-year civil service job, according to the website of the Maviay Private Detective Company, which he also founded.
It also said he organises conferences and seminars at national and international events in many universities and gives lectures on “Private Detective Research Techniques and Methods” at a state university.
Interrogations of the suspects are ongoing, with seven already sent to prison after being referred to a court by the Istanbul Provincial Security Directorate. Turkish forces continue to search for 13 additional suspects.Last year, MIT carried out a similar operation which led to the arrest of 15 people who were allegedly a part of a spy network for Mossad.
They also had been collecting information about Palestinian nationals living in Türkiye.The spies detained in that operation had received thousands of dollars in return for the special files they created.