ISTANBUL: Turkey arrested a Greek citizen on Sunday on suspicion of espionage activities, a day after seizing him in an operation coordinated with its spy agency, local police said.
Mohamed Amar Ampara was caught in the southeastern city of Gaziantep near Turkey’s border with Syria.
“The agent, named M.A.A., was detained by the judicial authorities after he was discovered to have connections with the Greek National Intelligence Organization ... compiled information about our country’s border security and transferred it to Greek intelligence,” the police department in Gaziantep said in a statement.
Turkish media reported at the weekend that Ampara operated disguised as a businessman during his trips to Turkey.
The Greek Foreign Ministry said in the meantime that Ampara’s disappearance had been reported to the Greek Embassy in Ankara a few weeks ago.
The embassy had repeatedly raised the subject with the Turkish authorities but the latter had never provided any answers, it added.
Turkey and Greece are allies within NATO but are embroiled in a number of disputes.
Tensions have escalated in recent weeks, with Ankara accusing Athens of stationing troops on islands near its maritime border.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this month that he would no longer hold bilateral meetings with Greek leaders.