New Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, in a phone call to congratulate Eid al-Adha, thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for what he called the neutralization of Iran’s terror plot to assassinate his country’s tourists in Istanbul. At the same time, the Sabah newspaper, which is close to the Turkish ruling party, has published new details of Iran’s terror plot.
This newspaper, quoting security sources, reported that a group of eight Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) agents and their Turkish accomplices were looking for an assassination attempt on Yosef Levi-Sfari, the former Israeli ambassador in Istanbul, and a group of Israeli tourists before their plan was exposed on June 16 and agents of Turkey’s Security Organization (MET) arrested them.
Sabah wrote that the investigation of seven of the detainees behind Iran’s terror plot has been completed and their case has been sent to court, but the investigation of one of them is still ongoing. This newspaper did not specify how many of the detainees are Iranian citizens and how many are Turkish citizens.
The Sabah report states that the members of the “Hit Team” entered Turkey one by one and settled in houses in Beylikduzu and Buyuk Cekmece neighborhoods in Istanbul. Some stayed in a hotel near Taksim Square where Mr. Sfari and his wife were staying with a group of Israeli tourists who had traveled to Turkey ignoring the Israeli government’s warning.
At the same time, a member of the “Hit Team” arouses the suspicion of a seller during the purchase of a motorcycle at the price of 26,000 Liras (equivalent to about 1,500 dollars). The seller mentioned that the buyer called him with a foreign number (probably Iranian) and did not personally appear at the registry office during the transaction, which made him suspicious.
After the “operation” was exposed, Turkish security agents and the police raided the residences of the IRGC “Hit Team” and arrested eight people. Three handguns equipped with silencers were recovered from the site. At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel raised the level of warning to the citizens of this country in Turkey, and asked all its tourists to leave the country.