Alleged spy ring for Iran revealed by visual records
Seven people have been arrested in Iğdır on charges of spying for Iran. DHA photo
The visual records of an operation in which seven were arrested on claims of aiding Iranian spies in the eastern Turkish province of Iğdır have revealed how the agents were trying to operate in Turkey.
The operation was started in Iğdır after it was revealed that photos of the Iğdır Provincial Gendarmerie Command building were taken by people using a minibus with the license plate “04-D-3759.” Police stopped the vehicle on the outskirts of the city and detained two suspects of Iranian origin. The suspects, Shahram Zargham Kohei and Mohammed Reza Esmaeilpour Ali Malek were determined to have taken photos of strategically important security zones in the region.
During questioning, the suspects revealed that they had demanded information in return for money from a number of important figures from state institutions in Van’s Çaldıran district. It has also been revealed that information was collected about Turkey’s military institutions in Iğdır, the local governor’s office, and a number of firms, daily Radikal has reported.
Seven of the nine suspects who were detained on Aug. 31 as part of the spying investigation conducted by the Erzurum Public Prosecutor’s Office were arrested on the claim of spying for Iran. It was revealed that the suspects, who were scrutinized by the intelligence units for a year, transferred the information they obtained to Iranian intelligence service SAVAMA in return for money. Some Turkish citizens, who met the Iranian spies in Iran border and provided them information, were followed by the police step by step. In the photos taken during the followings, it was determined that T.A., who was arrested on the charge of spying, took photos of and gathered information about the strategically important areas determined before with Yaghoub Ahnou Khos, who fled to Iran during the operation, daily Hürriyet reported.
Another photo shows T.A. giving his information notes to a SAVAMA spy named Z.A on the Iranian border. The notes, which were written in T.A.’s own handwriting, gave information about the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) activities. After a meeting lasting about an hour, T.A. returned to Iğdır.
After the search made in the suspects’ houses, some visual records were obtained which show Iranian spies cross-examining two female PKK members and asking them questions about the PKK and its structure in Turkey. It was also seen in the records that the women informed them about the abduction of eight Turkish soldiers and the killings of some soldiers.
T. A. said they generally met people of Azerbaijani origin living in Iran, noting that they communicated with them more freely.
“Since Iranians are mostly [Shiites], informers in Turkey are generally selected from among the [Shiites] living in Iğdır. [Shiites] are brought to Iran under the guise of religious education and were trained for spying,” he said. “The money given in return for information was transferred to the spies not through bank accounts, but with exchange offices.”