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Turkey arrests four accused of spying for France: report

The suspects reportedly impersonate Turkish intelligence agents [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 June, 2020

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The detainees are suspected of spying on Turkey's religious affairs ministry and conservative foundations, a pro-government daily reported.
Turkey has arrested four people suspected of working as spies for France, a government-linked newspaper reported on Monday.

The four, who are all Turkish citizens, were allegedly collecting information on the country's religious affairs ministry, the Sabah daily reported.

They were also reportedly investigating the workings of several religious groups and conservative foundations linked to the government.

The suspects used falsified identity cards to impersonate agents of Turkey's own National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), according to Sabah, which is owned by a company closely linked to the Turkish government.

The alleged leader of the spy ring, Metin Ozdemir, was trained in France for more than eight months, according to a Sabah report on Tuesday. He was reportedly recruited as a spy while working at France's consulate in Istanbul.

Ozdemir later recruited three others to assist in his espionage activities, it is claimed, who were told they would be working for MIT and investigating extremist organisations such as the Islamic State group.

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