Turkey’s intelligence chief will soon submit a recommendation to his government that it cancels agreements with Israel that allow the Mossad espionage agency to operate freely on Turkish soil, a Turkish paper reported yesterday.
- 'Israel Behind Iran Intel Leak'
- 'Turkey Pressures Hamas on Egypt, Palestinians'
- Turkish Jewish Youth Emigrating
- Politics Hinder Turkey-Israel Gas Deal
- Erdogan's Hostility Toward Israel
The paper, Yeni Safak, is close to Turkey’s governing AKP party.
Abdulkadir Selvi, one of the paper’s senior columnists, wrote in yesterday’s issue that the looming cancelation of the secret agreements with the Mossad is the reason for the wave of negative reports about intelligence chief Hakan Fidan that have appeared in American papers recently. Selvi said Israel is upset over Fidan’s decision to try to persuade his government to cancel the agreements, which allow Mossad agents to enter Turkey without a visa and without passing through customs.
The agreements with the Mossad were signed at a time when “Turkey’s democratically elected government didn’t have full control over the country’s territory,” Selvi wrote, referring to the outsized influence Turkey’s army exerted on previous governments, before the AKP curbed its power. But Fidan now wants to cancel these agreements, Selvi continued, and he will submit a formal recommendation on the issue to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the next few days.
A few months ago, the Turkish media reported that Mossad chief Tamir Pardo had visited Ankara and met with Fidan to discuss the Syrian civil war and Iran’s nuclear program. But it could be that during this visit they also discussed the future of Israeli-Turkish intelligence cooperation in general, and the agreements with the Mossad in particular.
Last Thursday, the Washington Post reported that in early 2012, Fidan gave Iran’s intelligence service the names of up to 10 Iranians working for the Mossad. Turkish intelligence knew their identities because the Iranians regularly met with their Israeli handlers in Turkey. The American daily quoted informed sources as saying that this betrayal resulted in a “significant” loss of intelligence and was motivated by a desire “to slap the Israelis.”
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Fidan had “rattled Turkey’s allies by allegedly passing to Iran sensitive intelligence collected by the U.S. and Israel.”