Jordanian national Ahmed Mahmoud Ayesh Al Astal, who is suspected of spying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, has been in Turkey since 2013.

Sultanahmet district in Istanbul on January 14, 2016.
Sultanahmet district in Istanbul on January 14, 2016. (AP)

A Turkish court remanded a Jordanian national in custody over allegedly acting as a spy for the United Arab Emirates.

National Intelligence Orginization (MIT) officers and counter-terrorism police on Saturday arrested the suspect, Ahmed Mahmoud Ayesh al Astal, as part of an investigation carried out by the Sakarya Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in northwestern Turkey.

Al Astal was remanded on Wednesday.

Al Astal is accused of "obtaining and disclosing information that should remain confidential in terms of the security of the state, domestic or foreign political benefits for the purpose of political or military espionage."

He allegedly infiltrated think tanks close to the Muslim Brotherhood organisation as an anti-UAE opposition journalist, collecting information and documents, security sources said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

The suspect travelled to Turkey using a non-UAE passport and "infiltrated Arab dissident and journalist networks for years," an official said.

READ MORE: Turkey arrests suspected UAE spy

Believed to have been in Turkey since 2013, al Astal allegedly transferred information on Turkey's global relations, domestic and foreign policy developments and the 2016 coup attempt to the UAE.

Turkey has said Fetullah Terrorist Organization and its US-based leader, Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the putsch attempt of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Not the first time

Last year, Turkey arrested another two men also suspected of spying on Arab nationals, including political exiles and students, for the UAE.

At the time, an official said one of those two was connected to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. 

One of the suspects later committed suicide in prison, according to the prosecutor's office.

READ MORE: Turkey arrests alleged UAE spies, probes for links with Khashoggi killing

Source: TRTWorld and agencies