Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Erdoğan. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty

The Israeli government’s diplomatic efforts have been focused in recent days on securing the release of two Israeli tourists arrested in Turkey on espionage charges.

Why it matters: The incident has the potential to become another major crisis in the already strained Turkish-Israeli relationship.

The backstory: The Israeli couple, bus drivers in their 40s, visited the highest structure in Istanbul — the Camlica Tower — and began to take photos of the city, including of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s residence.

  • A worker at the tower's restaurant, who had apparently become suspicious of the couple, called the police. They were arrested and the case was transferred to Turkish intelligence.
  • The Israeli government was not notified of the arrest and only learned of it two days later when the Turkish lawyer who was appointed to the couple contacted the consulate in Istanbul.
  • The couple was indicted on Friday for spying, and their detention was extended until the beginning of a trial.

Behind the scenes: Israel and Turkey don't have ambassadors in each other's countries and channels of communication are limited. Several days of inquiries from the Israeli side went unanswered, and it wasn't even clear at first if they had reached senior officials in Ankara.

  • The head of Israel's Mossad spy agency also reached out to his Turkish counterpart to offer assurances that the couple did not work for Israeli intelligence.
  • Bennett and Lapid also released unusual public statements stressing that the arrested Israelis were innocent civilians.
  • The Turkish government has been largely silent on the issue in public, but Turkish officials have told the Israelis in private that their messages are being taken into consideration.

Between the lines: Israeli Foreign Ministry officials say they still don't know if this was an incidental arrest that escalated or whether there is political motivation behind it.

  • The officials say they're concerned Erdoğan might want to use the couple as bargaining chips to extract some kind of concession from Israel.

What to watch: The Israeli couple appealed the decision to extend their arrest until the trial. Israeli officials hope the appeal might present an off-ramp and that the couple might be deported to avoid a deeper crisis.

Worth noting: Just last month, Turkey's Sabah newspaper reported that 15 alleged members of a Mossad spy ring had been arrested in Turkey.

Go deeper

Turkey's economic gamble

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Polite descriptions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s economic policies go something along the lines of “unorthodox” or “going against the grain.”

Put more bluntly, his ideas appear to tap into the growing urge of unconventional leaders — and their followers — to challenge truisms long held by the global ruling elite.

Updated 17 hours ago - World

France releases Saudi man held over suspected links to Khashoggi killing

A person holding a candle and a picture of journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a vigil outside of the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

French prosecutors said Wednesday that a Saudi man arrested in Paris over suspected links to the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been released, calling the arrest a case of mistaken identity, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Prosecutors said that after "extensive checks on the identity" of the man being held, "the warrant did not apply to him."

13 hours ago - World

Currency crisis hits hard in Turkey

Waiting to exchange money. Photo: Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's deepening currency crisis could mark the definitive end of the country's economic success story and is making ordinary citizens poorer.

Driving the news: Turkey's currency is fluctuating on a daily basis and has lost 45% of its value against the dollar this year. Investors are abandoning Turkish assets due to concerns about the Central Bank’s ability to control inflation. Ordinary citizens are rushing to convert their savings to foreign currencies and gold.