Merkel criticized for spy agency's Turkish activities

Opposition says government failed to provide sufficient explanation for German intelligence services' spying on Turkey.

Merkel criticized for spy agency's Turkish activities

World Bulletin/News Desk

A senior lawmaker of the German parliament, Andre Hahn, has criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel for a German foreign intelligence agency's spying on Turkey.

“It was Chancellor Merkel who said that spying among friends is not acceptable,” Hahn told The Anadolu Agency.

“I have asked the federal government if NATO partner Turkey is a friend or not. This question has never been answered by the federal government,” he said.

“Turkey is a partner of Germany. It is also an important country that should remain anchored in European structures,” Hahn said.

“I believe that cooperation is important and better than spying on each other with our secret services,” he said.

The senior lawmaker from the opposition Left Party is the Vice President of the Parliamentary Control Panel, which oversees the activities of Germany’s intelligence services.

The German weekly Der Spiegel published details of various top-secret documents in August revealing that Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst, the country's foreign intelligence agency, had been spying on Turkey since 2009.

The documents were among the 217 top-secret files delivered to U.S. intelligence by an agency employee, identified as Markus R., who has been under arrest since early July under suspicion of working for the Americans.

Merkel has declined to comment on the claims, but under growing pressure, has agreed to send the controversial confidential documents to the Parliamentary Control Panel.

Hahn told the AA that the government has allowed his panel to see the leaked documents, but has forbidden them to make any public statement on these top-secret files. 

“Fifty percent of these files are very important. These internal documents include very sensitive information about the intelligence agency. But I am not allowed to discuss the details,” Hahn said.

The Left Party lawmaker criticized controversial practices of the agency, such as spying on allies, and said the German intelligence agency’s cooperation with the National Security Agency was also discrediting.

Hahn explained that, due to the recent developments in Syria and Iraq, German intelligence services have also focused on the region.

He also said that there was a need for closer cooperation among the secret services to stop foreign citizens from crossing to Syria and Iraq to fight with militant organizations.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Kasım 2014, 10:22

Muhammed Öylek