Turkey arrests 4 spies working for France

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Turkey has arrested four spies working for France, journalists, Abdurrahman Şimşek and Nazif Karaman Sabah daily has reported in an article published Monday.According to the survey by the journalists, the four suspects have been gathering information on the internal workings of conservative foundations, religious groups, and Turkey, the Religious Affairs Directorate and its employees.

The journalists said in the piece that the suspects used fake identity cards purportedly belonging to agents of the Organization National Intelligence (MIT) and has stated that they have been collecting intelligence on Daesh and similar terrorist groups.

The institutions, they have gathered information from include the Women and Democracy Foundation (KADEM), Sadaka Taşı humanitarian relief agency and the Pioneer of the Youth, who once came under a bombing attack by the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) terrorist group.

According to the report, one of the suspects is Metin Özdemir, who contacted the French military during a mission as a Turkish soldier in Afghanistan. Özdemir was first decided to be a legionnaire. After the military service, Özdemir returned to Turkey and started working at the Consulate General of France in Istanbul as security personnel.

In 2013, Özdemir met a person with the code name “Bruno,” who had close ties with the French intelligence service, the Directorate General of External Security. Bruno reportedly said that he could help her continue her goal to be a legionnaire but Özdemir would have to collect information first.

According to his own testimony, Özdemir collected information about 120 people – including imams, and transmitted to the French authorities.

Later, he contacted two other people with links to the French intelligence and started to receive orders from these two “case officers.”

Identify the officers of the “Virginia” and “Sebastian,” he said he didn’t know what their names were, they have been out of communication on a pay telephone, and he was well aware that he was conducting espionage.

First he was paid 300 euros ($337), which later was increased two-fold.

According to his testimony, Özdemir has been ordered to spy on conservative-leaning foundations in Istanbul, in the Fati Bayrampaşa, Esenyurt, Zeytinburnu, Üsküdar, Ümraniye and Başakşehir districts, and was also threatened by the French. He threatened again, saying he would leave France in a difficult position, if he were to admit it.

Later, he included three different persons in his espionage activities. Özdemir said an employee of the municipality Lütfü Yılmaz, owner of the hotel Salih Cemal Yiğit and phone trader Faysal Tambahçeci they work for the account of the MIT against terrorist groups such as Daesh, by showing them his fake id to better persuasion.

The four suspects will be judged on the basis of the grounds of political and military espionage.

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