Turkey Claims Suspected Emirati Spy Commits Suicide in Prison

Turkish authorities claimed a man jailed on suspicion of spying for the United Arab Emirates committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell. The suspect, named as Zaki Y. M. Hasan, allegedly hanged himself in Silivri prison, located west of Istanbul. Hasan is one of two people—both reportedly of Palestinian heritage—arrested on April 19 and charged with international, political and military espionage. UAE leaders have not commented on the death, nor did Ankara issue an official statement on the development. According to Turkish media, investigators are examining whether the two individuals were somehow involved in the October killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Ties between Turkey and the UAE, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, have been strained since Gulf countries in 2017 imposed a blockade on Qatar, to where Ankara subsequently sent military reinforcements in a sign of support. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is, not unlike Doha’s rulers, an ardent backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Abu Dhabi and Riyadh have designated a terrorist group. Turkey also maintains good relations with Shiite Iran, the arch-nemesis of the House of Saud and emirs in the UAE.

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