"Israel wiretapped conversations between Turkish pilots on military training flights," Turkey's
Today's Zaman news website reported on Wednesday, prompting Turkish authorities to initiate a program to encrypt communiqués during the flights.
According to the report, originally published in the Habertürk daily, Israel
allegedly wiretapped radio communications between pilots of Turkish fighter jets during their training flights at the Konya 3rd Main Jet Base Command, with aim of finding out details about the Turkish Air Forces' (THK) training programs and flight strategies.
Acting on this piece of intelligence, the THK initiated a project to encrypt the communication between the fighter jets. Turkish engineers are currently working to develop a special encoding system for the air force.
In Konya, aviators are undergoing initial training before passing on to comprehensive combat readiness training, which is a final training phase to become an F-16 fighter pilot.
Relations between Israel and Turkey, once close regional allies, have deteriorated sharply since the raid on the Mavi Marmara ship
last May. Turkey cancelled all its military agreements with Israel following the event.
In 2010, there were 16 agreements in effect between Turkey and Israel regarding military issues, including cooperation and the mutual training of troops.