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Report: Turkey last year named Iranians working as spies for Israel

Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:35 AM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Israeli-Turkish relations were so bad in 2012, the Turkish government disclosed the names of 10 Iranians spying for Israel, The Washington Post reported.

Knowledgeable sources said the Turkish action resulted in a "significant" loss of intelligence and was "an effort to slap the Israelis," the Post reported Wednesday.

Israeli-Turkish relations tanked following the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident in which Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish-organized convoy of ships ferrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Nine Turks were killed.

U.S. officials indicated they never were sure if the Turkish disclosure was in retaliation for the Gaza incident or part of a broader deterioration in Turkish-Israeli relations, the Post said.

A Turkish Embassy spokesman declined comment.

While U.S. officials considered the revelation of the Israeli network an unfortunate intelligence loss, they didn't protest directly to Turkish officials, the Post said

Israeli intelligence apparently ran part of its Iranian spy network through Turkey, which has relatively easy movement across its border with Iran, the Post said. The Turkish intelligence service, Milli Istihbarat Teskilati, aggressively kept an eye on activities within Turkish borders, so it had the resources to monitor covert Israeli-Iranian meetings.

U.S. officials said they think Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, after more than a half-century cooperating with Turkey, never thought Turkey would "shop" Israeli agents to a hostile power, a source told the Post.

However, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has championed the Palestinian cause and has been guiding Ankara away from what had been its secret partnership with Jerusalem, the Post said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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