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Under surveillance Turkish ex-spy recounts political espionage

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In an exclusive interview with Swiss public television, SRF, a former agent of the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MİT), confirmed suspicions that political espionage had taken place in the past on members of the Turkish community in Switzerland.

On March 24, the Swiss Attorney General’s office announced it had opened criminal proceedings into allegations of such political espionage taking place on Swiss soil. 

 In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said there was “concrete evidence” that political secret service espionage had taken place. The Attorney General alerted the cabinet to these suspicions and received the go-ahead to proceed by the Justice Ministry, the statement read. 

Upon inquiry by, the Attorney General’s office did not provide any details about the suspected espionage such as when or where it is thought to have taken place, citing the ongoing investigation. 

In mid-March, reports in the Swiss press revealed that people at a University of Zurich event about the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet noticed two men using their smartphones to take sly photos of guests. The same happened at a public lecture on the Armenian genocide. 

University Rector Michael Hengartner released a statement saying that his institution would not tolerate such behaviour and would investigate it further.