Published On: Sat, Sep 6th, 2014

Article Scan: Does the US trust Turkey? (by Cengiz ÇANDAR)

CENGIZ-CANDARDoes the US trust Turkey?

The German newspaper Der Spiegel has discovered that Turkey, a NATO ally, was the target of US, UK and German espionage. In its August 2014 report headlined, “A Two-Faced Friendship: Turkey Is ‘Partner and Target’ for the NSA,” Der Spiegel scrutinized hundreds of thousands of pages of National Security Agency (NSA) documents leaked by Edward Snowden​. Turkey’s position in the struggle against the Islamic State will determine whether the West will treat it as a friend or a suspect.

There was no German apology, but instead, a distinction between “friend and ally,” implying that Turkey is an ally but not a friend.

Der Spiegel reporter Michael Sontheimer told Elmas Topcu, a journalist of Turkish origin, in an interview: “We studied Edward Snowden’s archives and found 20 very important documents attesting to the cooperation between Turkish intelligence and the NSA. These documents showed that the NSA on the one hand supported the Turkish intelligence service MIT and the Turkish Armed Forces intensively in their combat against the PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party], and on the other hand how American intelligence units and Washington had no confidence whatsoever in the Turkish government. They [Americans] succeeded in monitoring Turkish government computers by trying every conceivable method.”


Cengiz Candar is a columnist for Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse. A journalist since 1976, he is the author of seven books in the Turkish language, mainly on Middle East issues, including the best-seller Mesopotamia Express: A Journey in History.

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