Turkey asks for satisfactory explanation from Germany over wiretapping reports

Turkey asks for satisfactory explanation from Germany over wiretapping reports

Sevil Erkuş ANKARA
Turkey asks for satisfactory explanation from Germany over wiretapping reports

German envoy Eberhard Pohlis has met with the deputy undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Erdoğan İşçan. DAILY NEWS file photo

Any accuracy in reports that Germany has been spying on NATO ally Turkey are “worrying” and would pose “a grave situation” to the relationship between the two nations, the Foreign Ministry said in a strongly-worded statement released Aug. 18.

“Even if a small amount of accuracy is found with the aforementioned claims, then for Germany, there is a grave situation which needs to be explained. These kinds of practices cannot be accepted in an environment where mutual confidence and respect should prevail between friends and allies,” according to a written statement by the Foreign Ministry, while underlining how “such practice does not comply with [the long standing] friendship and alliance between Turkey and Germany.”

Ankara warned Berlin that such practices would also harm the two countries’ cooperation in providing international security and stability.

“The German authorities are expected to introduce an official and satisfactory explanation about the claims to the German media and if these claims are true, then they should be ended immediately,” the ministry said.

These views were “strongly” expressed to the German Ambassador Eberhard Pohl to Turkey when he was summoned to the Foreign Ministry headquarters earlier in the day where he met with Deputy Undersecretary Erdoğan İşçan, a ministry official earlier told Hürriyet Daily News.

In addition to confirming that Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been spying on Turkey for years, Der Spiegel and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) newspapers cited German officials as saying Turkey belongs to the core target countries under observation by the German intelligence service.

“The German government has defended this line of practice vehemently, saying that Turkey cannot be compared to the U.S. or European countries like France and Great Britain. What happens in Turkey has a direct influence on domestic security in Germany, government sources told FAS. This includes the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK], left- and right-wing Turkish groups in Germany, drug smugglers and people smugglers,” Deutsche Welle’s English service reported on Aug. 18.