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In Surveillance Scandal, Talk of German Spying on Turkey

Turkey Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Feb. 4, 2014, appearance in Berlin. Source DPA
Turkey Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Feb. 4, 2014, appearance in Berlin.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany, a critic of U.S. spying on European allies, has come under scrutiny for allegedly spying on Turkey.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Germany exported €21.5 billion to Turkey last year, its third-largest export partner outside Europe.
    • Muslim-populated Turkey is a Nato member and important ally in the Middle East.
    • Turkey is officially a candidate to joing the European Union but accession is unlikely.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel was not amused when she learnt last year the United States secret service had tapped her phone for years.

Eavesdropping is not expected among friends, Ms. Merkel told U.S. President Barack Obama.

But with regards to Turkey, a Muslim country and important Nato ally in the Middle East, other rules apply.

The German foreign intelligence service has apparently been spying too — on Turkey and on Turkish citizens living in Germany for years — German media reported earlier this week.

Turkey, Germany’s third-largest export market outside Europe, is one of the official targets of the foreign intelligence service, German magazine Der Spiegel reported over the weekend. Ironically, Der Spiegel cited one of the documents – a so-called “mission profile” – which was leaked by a German foreign intelligence employee to the United States.

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