JERUSALEM – In Turkey, the Israeli couple initially accused of espionage have been released. Prime Minister Naftali Bennette and Foreign Minister of Tel Aviv Yair Lapid made it known with a joint statement. Mordi and Natalie Oknin are on their way back to their homeland, reads the statement, through which the Israeli authorities express their thanks and gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government of Ankara. The arrest took place last week: Mr. and Mrs. Oknin had taken photos of Erdogan’s residence in Istanbul. A Turkish citizen was also arrested with them.
Turkey, Israeli couple arrested for espionage: “They photographed the presidential palace”
by Sharon Nizza
The police had been informed by an employee of a radio and television network. The man had seen the couple in the restaurant located in the tower where the radio-TV channel is also located, on the Asian side of Istanbul. From a distance, the Oknin took their photos at Erdogan’s palace, hence the suspicion that it was espionage and the consequent arrest, complete with formalized accusations and awaiting trial by a court in Istanbul. Israel denied that the two were in the service of its intelligence, the charges eventually dropped.