Turkey to look into claims of German spying: official

Turkey to look into claims of German spying: official
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C), his wife Emin Erdogan (L) and Deputy Chairman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Mehmet Ali Sahin attend a ceremony in Ankara on July 1, 2014 for the announcement of the AKP's candidate for the country's first direct presidential election.

ISTANBUL - The Turkish authorities will throroughly investigate a report that Germany has been spying on its NATO ally since 2009, a senior official said Sunday, saying the claims need to be taken seriously.

German weekly Der Spiegel reported that the German secret service the BND has been spying on Turkey since 2009, as well as accidentally intercepting at least one telephone conversation of US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"I am off the opinion that this needs to be taken seriously," said Mehmet Ali Sahin, the deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

"Definitely, our government and foreign ministry will carry out the necessary research about the allegations in the magazine," he added in televised comments.

But Sahin also said Spiegel's story needs to be approached "cautiously", recalling the rocky relationship between the prominent news magazine and the AKP.

During his victorious presidential election campaign, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will become president on August 28, launched repeated attacks against Spiegel.

The magazine hugely irritated the ruling party with a major cover story - written both in German and Turkish - ahead of the polls that was sharply critical of Erdogan's strongman rule.

"Der Spiegel is not a magazine that sees favourable dreams about Turkey," said Sahin. "It makes very unfair news about the AKP and especially about Recep Tayyip Erdogan," he added.

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