Turkey arrests six, including energy company official, accused of espionage

Turkish police on Wednesday arrested a top official from an Istanbul-based international private energy company and five others on charges of energy-related espionage, Sabah newspaper reported.

Deputy general manager of Bosphorus Gaz Corp., Emel Öztürk, and five others were arrested for alleged involvement in political and military espionage following a months-long investigation, led by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), that revealed the group shared confidential information about Turkey’s energy imports to a foreign energy company, according to Sabah.

The investigation followed a tip off on April 6 filed with the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office. The defendants were taken into police custody last month on criminal charges.

Öztürk is accused of contact with officials from a foreign energy company and sharing information that may result in billions of economic loss, Sabah said.

The arrests come after Turkey announced a 405 billion cubic meters (bcm) natural gas discovery - the largest in its history - in the Black Sea in August.