Turkey: Releases Israeli couple accused of espionage – Photographs Erdogan Palace | Skai.gr

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Turkish authorities have released an Israeli couple they arrested and charged with espionage for allegedly photographing the residence of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a trip to Istanbul, the Israeli prime minister and foreign minister announced today.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has denied allegations that the couple, Mordy and Natalie Oknin, were involved in espionage, saying they did not work for any Israeli government agency. The government has sent a high-ranking official to Turkey to help secure the couple’s release.

“Following joint efforts with Turkey, Mordy and Natalie O’Connell have been released from prison and are returning home to Israel,” Bennett and Israeli Foreign Minister Naftali Bennett said in a joint statement.

“We thank the President of Turkey and his government for their cooperation and we look forward to welcoming the couple home,” they added.

A Turkish court has ordered the couple’s pre-trial detention on November 12, accusing them of espionage for taking pictures of Mr Erdogan’s residence from the λιamlitze Tower, a telecommunications facility where observatories are located, according to the Turkish state news agency.

According to the agency, an official called the police when he saw the couple photographing the residence of the head of state from a restaurant operating in Tsamlitze.

According to the agency, a Turkish national who was with the couple was also arrested; he was charged with political and military espionage. It is not clear whether he was to be released or not.

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