JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli couple has been released by Turkey after being detained on suspicion of espionage, according to a joint statement by Israel’s prime minister and foreign minister on Thursday.
Mordi and Natalie Oknin are on their way to Israel, according to the statement, which also expressed gratitude to the president and government of Turkey.
The couple was arrested for espionage last week after taking photographs of the Turkish president’s residence in Istanbul, Turkey’s official news agency reported at the time.
Anadolu Agency said a Turkish national was also arrested. Police detained the three individuals after a tip-off from an employee working in a radio and television tower on the Asian side of Istanbul.
The employee claimed the couple had been taking photographs of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s nearby home from the tower’s restaurant.
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They were formally arrested and awaiting trial for “political and military espionage” by an Istanbul court.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid denied after the detention that the couple worked for an Israeli agency.
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