'Israel spied on Turkish Air Force training flights'

Turkish paper claims Ankara initiates program to encrypt communications between fighter jet pilots after Israeli wiretapping discovered.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 3, 2012 03:52
1 minute read.
Turkish Air Force F-16 [file photo]

Turkish Air Force F-16 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

 
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Israel listened in on communications between Turkish fighter jet pilots in order to discover details of the Turkish Air Force's training programs and flight strategies, Today's Zaman reported Wednesday, citing a report in the Turkish daily Habertürk.

According to the report, Israeli spies wiretapped conversations between pilots of Turkish jets during training exercises at the Konya 3rd Main Jet Base Command.

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The Israeli espionage has prompted the Turkish Air Force to initiate a program to encrypt communications between fighter jet pilots on such missions, the report added.

The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the veracity of the report.

Earlier this year, Today's Zaman cited Turkish intelligence agencies as saying Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles were gathering intelligence on Turkey for the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK).

The report claimed that Israeli Heron drones helped the PKK gather information on the Hatay province, bordering Syria, to determine the locations for establishing training bases.

The Turkish intelligence reports underline the low in diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey, which nosedived when Israel announced it would not apologize officially for the deaths of nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.

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Turkey downgraded military, political and economic ties with the Jewish state in the wake of the diplomatic row.

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