Turkish citizen accused of spying has detention extended for a third time

A 46 year old Turkish man being investigated for espionage and cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood has had his detention extended for third time, reported state news agency MENA.

Prosecutors in Suez decided on Saturday to extend detention of Raşit Öztürk for a further 15 days pending investigation.

The Turkish embassy in Cairo confirmed that it has been in contact with Öztürk several times and has been able to provide him with consular services. The embassy also said that Öztürk is being treated well by the Egyptian authorities.

Homeland Security investigations taking place in Suez have accused the Turkish citizen of espionage and attempting to gather information on Egypt’s national security apparatus. He is also accused of having contact with Brotherhood leaders in Cairo and Suez, said MENA.

Relations between Egypt and Turkey have declined since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, whose regime was closely aligned with the ruling party in Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been openly critical of the events surrounding Morsi’s ouster, declaring that is was a “coup”, something that the Egyptian interim government denies, saying it was the “will of the people.”

Erdoğan caused controversy recently by aiming criticism at Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb by saying that he favoured the “leaders of the coup.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously warned Turkey of its stance towards Egypt.

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