Turkey detains man accused of spying for UAE

Turkey's intelligence agency has detained a Jordanian national suspected of spying for regional rival, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Washington Post reported on Monday, citing a Turkish official.

Fourty-five-year-old Ahmed al-Astal of Palestinian origin had been working as a journalist and confessed to working for the UAE, the Turkish official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post.

Astal is expected to appear in court this week.

Astal’s work, overseen by Emirati handlers, included reporting on Turkey’s political developments and keeping tabs on Arab dissidents living in exile, the official said.

Last year, Turkey arrested two men suspected of spying on Arab nationals on behalf of the UAE.

Turkey and the UAE have been at odds for several years over foreign policy and attitudes towards religious political groups, namely, the pan-Islamist political organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The countries also back opposing sides in war-torn oil rich Libya.