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Middle East

Turkish FM summons US envoy over spying report

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc speaks to the press ahead of the presidential elections in Ankara July 24, 2014. (AFP Photo/Adem Altan)

ANKARA: Turkey's foreign ministry Monday summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires, currently Washington's most senior diplomat in Ankara, over a media report that the United States had spied on Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.

German magazine Der Spiegel said in an article on its website Sunday that the U.S. National Security Agency and Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency had carried out "wide-scale spying against Turkey," citing documents from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

"For the reasons that the United States' name was mentioned, and such claims were made ... the charge d'affaires has been called to the Foreign Ministry and information has been received from him," Arinc told reporters after the first meeting of Turkey's new cabinet following a presidential election.

Der Spiegel said the U.S. intelligence services had also worked closely to support Ankara in its efforts to battle Kurdish militants, who waged a three-decade insurgency for greater Kurdish rights in the country's southeast.

The report comes weeks after the magazine said Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency had been spying on Turkey for years. That report drew an angry reaction from Ankara, which described it as "absolutely unacceptable" if true.

 

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