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Posted by: Ian (D. Withers)


How does Israeli intelligence recruit operatives in Turkey?


Israel uses wide range methods to cultivate spies in Turkey to chiefly target Palestinian and Middle Eastern nationals

Israeli officers usually use cryptocurrency and hawala, an informal method of transferring money through dealers such as jewellery stores and money exchanges, to conceal the payment’s point of origin

By Ragip Soylu in Istanbul

4 January 2024



Turkish intelligence officials this week revealed how Israeli officers conduct recruitment efforts inside Turkey and how the individuals they hire operate.


The briefing, which was made on condition of anonymity to the media, including Middle East Eye, came after Turkish intelligence, in a joint operation with the police, on Tuesday detained 34 mostly foreign individuals allegedly spying for the Israeli secret services.

Turkish authorities believe an additional 12 individuals, who remain at large, have likely already left the country.


This is the fourth Turkish counter-intelligence operation against the network of informants and operatives that are associated with Israel’s intelligence services, such as the Shin Bet and Mossad, since 2021.  The intelligence officials say there are two groups of people the Israelis work with. The initial group undertakes simple missions while the second group operates on more tactical levels.


Official testimony by private detective Selcuk Kucukkaya, who admitted to working for Israeli secret services in return for a reduction of prison sentence in a separate case, confirmed how Israeli intelligence works its recruits.

Kucukkaya told Turkish investigators in September that he had met the Israeli officers in 10 cities in Europe a total of 11 times between 2018 and 2022. ‘I forwarded my report to Jorge by e-mail. I asked for 1,000 euros. He said that he liked the report and wanted to meet face to face’

Kucukkaya said he started to meet Jorge and his manager Alfonso in Europe, getting instructions for a second job and reporting on the information he had gathered on Iranian, Lebanese and Arab nationals. He was paid in cash in those meetings.



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Posted by: Ian (D. Withers)