Turkish security officers arresting an Iranian leader of a drug cartel in Turkey, undated. (Supplied)

February 11, 2022

Turkey has arrested 17 individuals as accomplices of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry in a plot to kidnap an opponent of the Islamic Republic residing in Turkey. All are charged with espionage, reported Turkish media on February 9, quoting Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

MIT has not disclosed the identity of the Iranian who was the target of the kidnapping operations but said that he had been living in the Black Sea coastal city of Zonguldak for some time.

According to MIT, the detainees included a Turkish state prosecutor, the owner of a defense company, a retired Turkish army colonel, and several non-commissioned officers.

The prosecutor, David Yilmaz, has been put under house arrest. According to media reports, Yilmaz had been working with the plotters since the beginning but he is now under house arrest because he has covid.

Yilmaz, a prosecutor in the Asian part of Istanbul since 2019, had previously held other prosecutorial positions in Turkey, such as the prosecutor of Kızıltepe in Mardin Province and the prosecutor of the resort town of Çeşme on the Aegean Sea.

According to Turkish media, Yilmaz was supposed to use his judicial powers to carry out the kidnapping.

The reports also stated that Ehsan Saglam, owner of Bay Saglam Defense Industries, who has extensive contacts with the Ministry of Defense and the Turkish Armed Forces, is the person responsible for recruiting, selecting personnel, and planning the operation for Iranian intelligence.

According to the Turkish media, on January 20, an Iranian intelligence agent, Morteza Sultan Sanjali, traveled to that city to finalize the kidnapping plan, but the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence informed him that he and his team were under observation and monitoring and that the operation had to be canceled, But he was arrested by Turkish intelligence and interrogated by the anti-terror branch in Istanbul.

Iran Wire

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.