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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 23, 1949


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    Reports of Soviet spying on Turkish and United States military activity in Iskenderun, Turkey.
    "Untitled report on Turkey," April 23, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 1, File 33/1, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford.
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Beirut, Apr. 23, 1949

Number 34/ The Turkish government is using the Iskenderun Port as a base for the incoming arms, ammunition and war missions from the United States of America. It had established a special command to supervise these matters and surrounded the [port] with a strict surveillance fence.

The Turkish command unit had also set up a special phone network for fear of news leakage of these military preparations to the Russians.

This network connects the Turkish leadership with the Iskenderun command unit independently of the public phone network.


Communications taking place between the two command units had started to leak to the Russians through the Cominform Spies, who had rented a house in Iskenderun where these phone lines were running near.  They had extended a cable that allowed them to pick up the signal.

In late March, Turkish anti-spying staff had discovered this line and they invaded the house to discover an apparatus similar to a radio connected to a cable that extends to the command unit tape by which communication were being heard.  They arrested the two brothers, Boris and Elia Al-Qadhi who were implicated in this matter.


Secret information coming from the Turkish Legation in Beirut and Damascus have indicated that this gang is a strong network that guarantees contact between them and Northern Syria and the Russian Legation in Beirut.  Members of this network have disappeared from sight after the arrest of the two brothers.  I request a detailed investigation in the matter to expose the rest of these spies’ comrades.


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