Turkey, Iranian spies arrested

Turkish secret services dismantle a network of Iranian spies

The spy ring, which intended to establish itself in eastern Turkey, wanted to kidnap a former Iranian army soldier to take him back to Iran.

A joint operation between the Turkish secret services and the Turkish police managed to dismantle an incipient Iranian spy network established in eastern Turkey, concluding with the arrest of a total of 8 people including two suspected Iranian spies and 6 local collaborators, as confirmed yesterday by Turkish security sources.

Although the information has now been released, the joint operation carried out by the National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) and the Turkish national police would have taken place on September 24, when the two alleged Iranian spies were arrested in the eastern Van province, precisely when a former Iranian army officer was about to be kidnapped and forcibly transferred to Iran.

The two members of the Iranian intelligence were reportedly trying to create a spy ring – which had been under surveillance for a long time by the Turkish secret services – in the Turkish province of Van, for which they had a budget of about $30,000; there, they tried to kidnap a former Iranian military living in the province and who responded to the initials M.A., to later transfer him to Iran.

To achieve this, the Iranian spies had instructed their local collaborators to offer the sum of $10,000 to M.A.’s wife in exchange for helping them in the kidnapping; if the woman – identified only by M.E – refused, the Iranian spy ring had threatened to harm her family in Iran.

During the operation carried out to dismantle the network, agents of the Turkish secret services and the Turkish police caught members of the now dismantled Iranian spy ring red handed, precisely as they were driving to Van to commit kidnapping. Last February, an employee of the Iranian consulate in Istanbul was detained and questioned in connection with the investigation into the 2019 assassination of an Iranian dissident exiled in Turkey.