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Two on Rhodes Accused of Being Turkish Spies Arrested, Face Charges

December 18, 2020

RHODES, Greece — Nearly a week after they were apprehended, two men on Rhodes – one a Greek citizen who works for the Turkish consulate – were arrested and charged with spying for Turkey to gain military information from the island of Kastellorizo, where Turkey had been hunting for oil and gas.

The second suspect, aged 54, was employed on a passenger ferry connecting the islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo, both close to the Turkish coast. Turkey's plans to drill for oil and gas in Greek waters brought the countries to a near-conflict point.

The first suspect pleaded guilty to the charges, said Kathimerini although neither have been identified despite the seriousness of the charges but the business newspaper Naftemporiki, citing media reports from Rhodes and Athens, said the men were from the northeast city of Komotini and members of the Thrace border’s Muslim minority.

The Rhodes newspaper Dimokratiki said the cook allegedly admitted being a spy for Turkey, his mission to take photos of Greek naval vessels anchored at or near Kastellorizo and to report on the size, schedules and deployment of defense forces there.

The suspect who admitted spying had earlier been released by a local prosecutor until trial after he said he didn’t spy for money but "to help my homeland (Turkey.) There was no explanation why he wasn’t held.

The Greek Intelligence Service reported detected the pair last August and began a surveillance operation, the consulate worker first observed after being linked to a group called the Muslim Brotherhood of Rhodes, whose Facebook page reportedly promotes symbols and propaganda linked with Turkish nationalist and Islamist circles.

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