Thursday, November 18, 2021

Israeli couple accused of spying by Turkey released, sent home

 Natali and Mordi Oaknin, the Israeli couple jailed in Istanbul after photographing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s residence, were released from prison and returned to Israel on Thursday morning.

"After joint efforts with Turkey, Mordi and Natali Oaknin were released from custody prison and are on their way home to Israel," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement. "[We] thanked the President of Turkey and his government for their cooperation and look forward to welcoming the couple back home.
The couple’s release came nine days after their arrest, after a concerted effort from the Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office, which emphasized that, contrary to the Turkish prosecution’s accusation, the Oaknins are not Israeli spies and have nothing to do with Israeli intelligence. In addition, Mossad chief David Barnea spoke to his counterpart and President Isaac Herzog called senior figures in Turkey.

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