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Turkey demands US explanation over reports of spying

Turkish authorities summoned the US charge d’affaires in Ankara yesterday over reports suggesting Washington is spying on Turkish officials, a spokesperson of the Turkish government said.

Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Arinc confirmed that the US charge d’affaires had been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “to elaborate” on the allegations.

In its Sunday issue, the German magazine Der Spiegel said US and British intelligence agencies have been carrying out intensive electronic surveillance of their NATO ally Turkey.

Citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden, Der Spiegel said that the US national security agency has been spying on senior Turkish officials since 2006, by monitoring their computers, to find out the intentions of its former conservative prime minister and newly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The German weekly added that the US placed Turkey in the same surveillance priority rank as Venezuela – higher than Cuba.

The Turkish foreign ministry said it expected the US to investigate these claims and, if proven true, to put an end to those activities which target its institutions and representatives abroad.

Erdogan said he would discuss this matter with other officials during the coming NATO summit in Wales on Thursday.

Two weeks ago, Der Spiegel reported that German intelligence has been spying on Turkey, prompting the latter to summon the German ambassador and express its “concerns”.

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