Turkish Court Sentences 17 for Spying, Selling Info to Israel’s Mossad

Tensions are running high between Turkiye and Israel. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The 17 defendants convicted of espionage, pleaded for acquittal, while government prosecutors sought punishment for providing information to the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. 

A local court in Türkiye has sentenced 17 members of a spy ring to prison for spying on Turkish business firms for the Israeli agency Mossad, the Anadolu news agency reports. 

According to documents released by the court in Istanbul, the 17 were convicted of “espionage” after providing information about Turkish companies to Israel’s Mossad. 

 The defendants, who were present in the court, pleaded for acquittal, while government prosecutors sought punishment for providing information to the Israeli intelligence agency, the report states. 

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Court documents indicate that Selcuk Kucukkkaya received a 26-year and eight-month prison sentence for “political and military espionage, threatening individuals, and illegally obtaining or disseminating personal data.”

Cenk Birturk, Fatma Birturk, and Musa Kus were sentenced to 18 years and four months in prison, while Emre Birturk received an eight-year and nine-month sentence for the same crimes, the report adds. 

Additionally, the other 11 people were sentenced to six years and three months for the same crimes. 

Serkan Ozdemirci, a fugitive in the case, still has an arrest warrant, and his case file has been separated from the other 16.

Trade Secret Data

Anadolu further reports that the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office earlier submitted a 228-page charge sheet, which is now the basis of their conviction.

It reportedly stated that Selcuk Kucukkkaya, who goes by the pseudonym “Taner Sezgin,” contacted the Israeli intelligence agency through the fugitive in the case, Serkan Ozdemirci, who was expelled from the Turkish Armed Forces for belonging to the FETO terror organization. 

Ozdemirci asked Kucukkkaya to investigate and report the trade secret data of three different Turkish companies, as well as the personal information of their owners. 

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Then Kucukkkaya used encrypted communication methods to contact people who identified themselves as Hose-Jorge Satia, Thomas Alfonso, and Raul, members of the Israeli intelligence agency whose true identities could not be determined.  They reportedly worked in the fields of investment, consultancy, and insurance in Singapore, Asia and Europe.

They pretended to be employees of the company “Asia Angels”, Anadolu further reports. 

They obtained and reported some information about the company, which they then passed on to Mossad member Thomas Alfonso, the report concludes.

Warnings to Israel

In January, Türkiye arrested 33 people suspected of spying and planning espionage activities on behalf of Mossad.  In February, seven more people suspected of selling information to Mossad were arrested.

Ankara has previously warned Israel of “serious consequences” if it tries to hunt down members of the Palestinian Resistance group, Hamas, living outside the Palestinian Territories, including in Türkiye.

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Unlike most Western countries, Türkiye does not classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Tension between Ankara and Tel Aviv has increased since the start of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza on October 7.

(PC, AA)

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