Policy: Technology

Turkey calls German ambassador over spying claims


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey on Monday summoned Germany's ambassador and demanded that Berlin provide a "formal and satisfactory explanation" over reports that said Germany's foreign intelligence agency had eavesdropped on conversations between officials in the U.S. and Turkey, both NATO allies.

Ambassador Eberhard Pohl was also told that, if the reports were true, Turkey expected Germany to immediately stop any spying activity targeting Turkey, according to a Foreign Ministry statement after the meeting.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday that the agency, known by its German acronym BND, had listened to calls made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton. It also cited a confidential 2009 BND document listing Turkey as a target for German intelligence gathering.

"If there is the slightest element of truth in the allegations, it would constitute a serious situation that would need to be explained by Germany," the ministry said. "Such practices would in no way be acceptable in an environment requires mutual trust and respect between friends and allies."

Germany has complained for months about alleged American spy activity in Germany. Last year German media reports based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden prompted a sharp rebuke from Chancellor Angela Merkel. The U.S. has declined to comment about the latest Der Spiegel report.

The ministry added that the report threatened to harm Turkish and German security cooperation.

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