15 Greek Cypriots probed in Turkish Cyprus in espionage case
Turkish Cypriot officials are probing 15 Greek Cypriots whose names were found in the notebook of a self-confessed spy.
Mehmet Besimoğlu, 70, was arrested on Aug. 29 after Turkish Cypriot police caught him taking photos of Turkish soldiers at the port of Famagusta.
In his confession, Besimoğlu told the police he had worked as a spy for Greek Cypriots for five years and was receiving money for the photographs he took of military posts and churches located in Famagusta.
Besimoğlu said he had taken 250 photographs for Greek Cypriots and had been delivering the relevant intelligence to a Greek Cypriot agent.
Demirören News Agency reported on Sept. 14 that the court decided to keep Besimoğlu under arrest in the latest hearing of the espionage trial.
According to the report, Turkish Cypriot officials have identified the Greek Cypriot agent who worked with Besimoğlu, while also probing 15 Greek Cypriot names found in his notebook and are suspected to be members of the Greek Cypriot intelligence agency, the CIS.
Besimoğlu was withdrawing his money from a Greek Cypriot bank before returning to the Turkish side of the island by using differing routes to cover his track, the report added.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared independent on Nov. 15, 1983. Currently, only Turkey recognizes it as an independent state.
The latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure in July 2017 after two years of negotiations.