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Israeli spy cell might have stolen sensitive defence industry data from Ankara, Turkish media claims

The spy cell, which was uncovered and caught in Turkey not long ago, might have sent the sensitive data, obtained from the country’s defence industry and the naval forces, to Israel, Bulent Orakoglu, a columnist for the Turkish daily newspaper, Yeni Safak, has alleged.

The columnist recalled that a total of five people had been detained as part of an investigation into bribery and the theft of sensitive data about tenders and information regarding the Turkish-made drones.

One of them, named Emre Alp Durmaz, was allegedly linked to Israeli defence companies Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI) and Israeli Military Industries Systems (IMI) through his relations.

The IAI reportedly even worked with Ankara to sell a medium-altitude UAV called “Heron”.

In addition, Mehmet Durmaz, the father of the detained, was involved in modernising M60 tanks for Turkey, the columnist claimed in Yeni Safak.

Orakoglu admits that there is no solid evidence confirming that the data was sold to Israel, but he stressed that such concerns are natural.

He insists that Turkey’s defence industry could have been targeted for corporate espionage because of its recent success in certain fields, such as drone construction. Ankara has not levelled any public accusations against either Tel Aviv or any of the Israeli companies allegedly related to the case.


Header: IAI Harop drone – side view