Turkish media reported on Tuesday that 16 people from Istanbul went on trial were charged with espionage on behalf of Israel, charged with both political and military espionage.
MIT, Turkey’s national intelligence agency, arrested the defendants in October in an operation that included Palestinians and Syrians, according to pro-government Sabah and other Turkish media.
The defendants face a sentence of twenty years in prison if convicted.
According to Sabah newspaper, the suspects operated in five separate groups to spy on Palestinian and Turkish students and others. Some of the suspects met with Israeli officials in Switzerland, Croatia, Romania, and Kenya.
The group has reportedly been monitored by Turkish intelligence officers for a year before they were arrested.
No comment has been made by Turkish officials regarding the arrests. First-round hearings in the trial are expected to last four days, according to Sabah.