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Berlin Confirms German Intelligence Spied on Turkey, Ankara to Investigate - Reports

RIA Novosti

16:20 17/08/2014

BERLIN, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - German intelligence has been spying on one of the NATO countries, Turkey, for many years, government sources told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.

The source said that Turkey cannot be compared to other European partners of Germany, such as France or the UK, because the events in Turkey have a direct impact on Germany's internal security because many Turks reside there.

Turkey is among the countries watched closely by the German foreign intelligence (BND), which uses there a whole variety of means of surveillance, including wiretapping, the newspaper wrote.

On Saturday, reports appeared saying that BND had been spying on Turkey since 2009, and intercepted telephone conversations between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton. The conversations were recorded "by accident," Der Spiegel magazine reported.

Ankara, in turn, intends to carefully investigate the Der Spiegel report, Agence France-Presse reported Sunday.

'I am off the opinion that this needs to be taken seriously… Definitely, our government and foreign ministry will carry out the necessary research about the allegations in the magazine," Deputy Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Mehmet Ali Sahin said.

He stressed the need to approach the story 'cautiously,' since "Der Spiegel is not a magazine that sees favorable dreams about Turkey" and about Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the elected president.

In July, two spy scandals involving the US intelligence agencies broke out in Germany. First, the detention of a BND agent was reported on July 2. After that, another German citizen was reported to have been allegedly spying in favor of the US intelligence agencies, the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said on July 9. The suspect was an employee of the German Defense Ministry, the newspaper reported.

In light of the spy scandal, Office of the Federal Chancellor of Germany limited cooperation of the national foreign intelligence and the Defense Ministry with the US partners. In particular, the German government ordered a representative of the US intelligence services at the US Embassy in Germany to leave the country.

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