Politics

13
Nov
9:18 UTC

Turkey & Israel Alert (UPDATE): Israeli couple arrested for photographing President Erdogan’s residence detained for 20 days, per November 12 reports; liable to strain bilateral relations further

Please be advised:

  • According to Israeli media reports, a Turkish court extended the detention of the Israeli couple facing espionage charges for taking photographs of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s residence, by another 20 days.  
  • During the proceedings, prosecutors told the court that the couple had also taken photographs of security installations and cameras outside Erdogan’s residence, highlighted them, and then sent the photographs to a third party.  
  • The couple’s legal representative told the court that they were “not spies”. 
  • Israeli authorities had initially anticipated that the couple would be deported back to Israel from Turkey on November 12. 

Assessments & Forecast:

This development follows the Turkish authorities’ arrest of 15 men on October 7 allegedly operating on behalf of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad. Given this context, it is likely that the Turkish security services perceive these two Israeli nationals to also be affiliated to Israel’s intelligence agencies, and are therefore intent on investigating the case further over the 20-day period. For its part, Israel is likely to perceive the couples’ extended detention as politically motivated and as a Turkish effort to detain Israeli citizens on trumped-up charges. This is also because Turkey is known to detain foreign nationals in order to use them as leverage during negotiations. FORECAST: For these reasons, this extended detention is liable to strain relations further between Israel and Turkey over the coming days. Turkish authorities will likely conduct additional investigations into the case, while Israel will explore further diplomatic options through which the release of its two citizens can be expedited. 

Recommendations:

  1. Travel to Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir may continue while remaining cognizant of the underlying threat of militancy and frequent protest activity. Contact us at [email protected] or +44 20-3540-0434 for itinerary and contingency support options. 
  2. Across Turkey, refrain from taking photographs of military and official installations as this is prohibited and may lead to detention. 
  3. Refrain from public statements, the display of symbols, or social media posts that may be perceived as critical of Turkey, its state institutions, government policies, or the president as this may lead to prosecution and arrest. This includes statements in support of the Kurdish community, which the authorities may perceive as support for the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). 
  4. Remain mindful of any social media posts published prior to travel that may be viewed by the authorities as critical of Turkish government policies or senior officials. Security personnel may examine personal electronic devices for such content upon entry into Turkey. 

 

COUNTRY RISK LEVEL Medium
AFFECTED AREA Turkey & Israel
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL Medium
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Credible

Please be advised:

  • According to Israeli media reports, a Turkish court extended the detention of the Israeli couple facing espionage charges for taking photographs of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s residence, by another 20 days.  
  • During the proceedings, prosecutors told the court that the couple had also taken photographs of security installations and cameras outside Erdogan’s residence, highlighted them, and then sent the photographs to a third party.  
  • The couple’s legal representative told the court that they were “not spies”. 
  • Israeli authorities had initially anticipated that the couple would be deported back to Israel from Turkey on November 12. 

Assessments & Forecast:

This development follows the Turkish authorities’ arrest of 15 men on October 7 allegedly operating on behalf of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad. Given this context, it is likely that the Turkish security services perceive these two Israeli nationals to also be affiliated to Israel’s intelligence agencies, and are therefore intent on investigating the case further over the 20-day period. For its part, Israel is likely to perceive the couples’ extended detention as politically motivated and as a Turkish effort to detain Israeli citizens on trumped-up charges. This is also because Turkey is known to detain foreign nationals in order to use them as leverage during negotiations. FORECAST: For these reasons, this extended detention is liable to strain relations further between Israel and Turkey over the coming days. Turkish authorities will likely conduct additional investigations into the case, while Israel will explore further diplomatic options through which the release of its two citizens can be expedited. 

Recommendations:

  1. Travel to Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir may continue while remaining cognizant of the underlying threat of militancy and frequent protest activity. Contact us at [email protected] or +44 20-3540-0434 for itinerary and contingency support options. 
  2. Across Turkey, refrain from taking photographs of military and official installations as this is prohibited and may lead to detention. 
  3. Refrain from public statements, the display of symbols, or social media posts that may be perceived as critical of Turkey, its state institutions, government policies, or the president as this may lead to prosecution and arrest. This includes statements in support of the Kurdish community, which the authorities may perceive as support for the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). 
  4. Remain mindful of any social media posts published prior to travel that may be viewed by the authorities as critical of Turkish government policies or senior officials. Security personnel may examine personal electronic devices for such content upon entry into Turkey. 

 

COUNTRY RISK LEVEL Medium
AFFECTED AREA Turkey & Israel
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL Medium
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Credible

What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.

What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.