Israel has demanded that Turkey release an Israeli couple accused of spying for allegedly taking photos of the presidential residence in Istanbul.

Natalie and Mordi Oknin, who are Modiin bus drivers, were captured last week after staff at a restaurant in the Camlica Tower reported the incident to police.

A judge has ordered that they be remanded in custody in advance.

Their Israeli lawyer called the allegations “baseless” and Israel insisted they were not working for an Israeli agency.

“These are two innocent civilians who were wrongly caught in a complex situation,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday. “I talked to the family yesterday and we are doing everything we can to solve the problem.”

Since the deadly Israeli raid in 2010 Turkish ship attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, all the relations between the both countries.

Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported on Friday that an Israeli couple and a Turkish citizen had been arrested after staff at the restaurant of the 369m high Camlica television and radio tower told police they had taken photos of President Recep. Tayyip Erdogan’s Home.

As per reports, the Oknin was questioned by authorities before being taken to a court where a judge cited them of “political and military spying” and increased their detention for at least 20 days.

An Israeli lawyer for the couple, Nir Yaslovitzh, denied the allegations, telling the Israeli Haaretz newspaper that “their only insult is implicating their photograph of Erdogan’s palace during an innocent boat trip.”

He stated the building had not been utilized as a presidential residence for many years. However, some parts of it are used as a presidential office. While the original residence, the Huber Mansion, is elsewhere in the city.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog stated he was “persuaded” of the couple’s integrity and emphasised that they “did not work for an Israeli agency”.

Last month, Turkish media reported that 15 men had been arrested by the Turkish authorities on suspicion of espionage for the Israeli Mossad secret service agency. A former Mossad deputy director denied that they were Israeli spies.x


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