Main opposition CHP deputy to knock on door of Turkey NSA office

Main opposition CHP deputy to knock on door of Turkey NSA office

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Main opposition CHP deputy to knock on door of Turkey NSA office

The recent revelations strained ties between the US and its European allies. AFP photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has lamented the government’s indifference to the revelations that the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) spied on other countries, possibly including Turkey, while promising to follow up on the allegations.

“The NSA is highly likely to have spied on Turkish authorities as they did in Germany and France,” CHP MP Erdal Aksünger told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. “However, our government has remained tightlipped over the issue which would be a scandal anywhere in the world. This is remarkable irresponsibility by the government.”

Aksünger said he would “knock on the door” of the Office of Defense Cooperation’s (ODC) Turkey mission in Ankara, which he claims houses the NSA’s Turkey office, on Nov. 7.

Documents obtained by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden and shared with the New York Times by The Guardian shows that Turkey was on the agency’s official mission list from 2007. Turkey was mentioned three times in the document titled “United States SIGINT System January 2007 Strategic Mission List” under topics of “State/Political Stability: Providing Warning of Impending State Instability Focus Areas,” “Foreign Policy: (Includes Intention of Nations and Multinational Orgs): Ensuring Diplomatic Advantage for the US,” and “Economic Stability/Influence: Ensuring US Economic Advantage and Policy Strategies.”

Aksünger already submitted a motion for a parliamentary inquiry on Oct. 25 in order to examine whether the NSA had an office in Turkey and whether it had performed any eavesdropping activities in the country.

“Although we have raised serious questions various times, the ruling [Justice and Development - AKP] party has kept its silence over the issue. Spying and covert surveillance are unacceptable. I’m appealing to our government; we have to form a special commission to inquire into covert surveillance activities,” Aksünger said.

President Abdullah Gül, speaking to reporters late Nov. 1 during a visit to Scotland, also commented on the latest reports of covert U.S. surveillance in Europe, emphasizing that it was unacceptable for such spying to occur between allies.

“The main problem here is that this instance [of spying] on allies leads to a very shameful and embarrassing situation. As a matter of fact, it’s disgraceful,” Gül said.

He also said he had no knowledge that the NSA was monitoring Turkey. “To our knowledge, there is no such thing. But, speaking of the Internet, we all use these devices. Where are the centers, the servers? Who controls them? Aren’t these things publicly known?” he said.