Mar 26 2018

Turkey investigates Dutch diplomat for spying - media reports

Turkey’s intelligence service has launched an investigation into a Dutch diplomat it suspects of collecting sensitive information about the Turkish cross-border offensive into Syria, the pro-government Sabah newspaper said.

It said the diplomat was suspected of working for Dutch military intelligence and was accused of trying to forge “fake documents to prove Turkey’s relation to the Islamic State (ISIS)”.

The newspaper said the diplomat held meetings with non-governmental organisations in Turkey opposed to Turkish policies in Syria with the financial support of the Netherlands Consulate in Istanbul and presented himself as an official working for the Dutch Ministry of Defence. 

Sabah also said the Dutch diplomat paid large sums of money to informants and carried jamming equipment to prevent surveillance. 

Relations between Turkey and the Netherlands have been strained since the Dutch government barred Turkish ministers from holding election rallies among the Turkish diaspora in March 2017.

The Turkish government responded by not allowing the Dutch ambassador to Turkey to enter the country and in February this year the Netherlands officially withdrew its ambassador after the two countries failed to normalise ties.