Washington Post daily has claimed the Turkish-Israeli relationship have become so poisonous that the Turkish government is said to have disclosed to Iranian intelligence the identities of up to 10 Iranians who had been meeting inside Turkey with their Mossad case officers.
Alleged sources describe the Turkish action as a “significant” loss of intelligence and “an effort to slap the Israelis”.
The US paper alleged that the incident, disclosed here for the first time, illustrates the bitter, multi-dimensional spy wars that lie behind the current negotiations between Iran and Western nations over a deal to limit the Iranian nuclear program. However, a Turkish Embassy spokesman had no comment.
According to the allegation, Israeli anger at the deliberate compromise of its agents may help explain why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became so entrenched in his refusal to apologize to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident. In that confrontation at sea, Israeli armed forces boarded a Turkish-organized convoy of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Nine Turks were killed during the incident.
The Washington Post also claimed that Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan is suspect in Israel because of what are seen as friendly links with Tehran.
The paper alleged, though US officials regarded exposure of the Israeli network as an unfortunate intelligence loss, they didn’t protest directly to Turkish officials. Instead, Turkish-American relations continued warming last year to the point that Erdogan was among Obama’s key confidants. US officials were never sure whether the Turkish disclosure was done in retaliation for the flotilla incident or was part of a broader deterioration in Turkish-Israeli relations.
The Israeli-Turkish intelligence alliance was launched in a secret meeting in August 1958 in Ankara between David Ben-Gurion, then Israel’s prime minister, and Adnan Menderes, then Turkey’s prime minister. “The concrete result was a formal but top-secret agreement for comprehensive cooperation” between the Mossad and Turkish intelligence, wrote Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman in their 2012 book, “Spies Against Armageddon”.
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