Duvar English - Reuters - Turkey has released an Israeli couple who it had detained over espionage charges for allegedly taking photographs of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's residence during a trip to Istanbul, Israel's prime minister and foreign minister said on Nov. 18.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has denied the spying charges against the couple, Mordi and Natali Oknin, saying they do not work for any Israeli agency. His government sent a senior emissary to Turkey to help work for their release.
"After joint efforts with Turkey, Mordi and Natali Oknin were released from prison and are on their way home to Israel," Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a joint statement.
"We thank the President of Turkey and his government for their cooperation and look forward to welcoming the couple back home," they said.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog thanked Erdoğan after the couple returned to Israel. The phone call comes after over a decade of tensions between Israel and Turkey.
Herzog thanked Erdoğan on the phone “for his personal involvement and contribution” to their release.