police operation in Turkey

6 people arrested in Turkey accused of spying for China

At least six people were arrested in Turkey during an operation organised by the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) against an alleged espionage network working for China’s secret services, Turkish media reported on Tuesday – arrests that come after Turkish security forces detained, just a few days ago, a large number of people spying for Israel.

According to published reports, the suspects were involved in gathering intelligence on people in Turkey from the Chinese autonomous province of Xinjiang, also known as East Turkestan; Xinjiang is a “rebel” province in China inhabited by the Uighur minority, who are ethnically, culturally and religiously related to the Turks, and many members of this minority live in exile in Turkey.

According to reports in the Turkish press, the 6 detainees were on a mission to spy on members of the Uighur minority living in Turkey as well as Uighur associations and organisations in exile. The arrests were carried out in a series of simultaneous raids in Istanbul following an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office into the suspects’ transfer of information and documents to elements of China‘s secret services. A 7th member of the espionage network could not be located and is currently wanted by police.