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    Spy vs Spy: Current German-Turkish Ties Indicate NATO 'Crisis of Confidence'

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    Berlin has levied accusations against Turkish special services, reflecting a crisis of confidence within NATO, former Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis told Sputnik Turkey.

    In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, former Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis commented on Berlin's recent statements on the espionage activities of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) against German politicians.

    Bagis recalled that "this is not the first time that NATO countries have made such accusations against each other."

    "For example, Berlin earlier blamed the Obama administration for snooping on the telephone conversations of German officials. During the G20 summit, there were allegations that Britain had wiretapped representatives of all member countries of the Alliance," he said.

    He also recalled that " when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan served as the country's Prime Minister, Turkey was also shocked by the news about the alleged wiretapping of telephone conversations of politicians."

    "When a NATO member country is in hot water, it's stipulated that other NATO members others must support it. However, it regrettably does not happen in reality. On the contrary, we are witnessing a serious crisis of confidence within the Alliance, which is why NATO countries continue to point the finger at each other," Bagysh said.

    Touching upon the importance of Turkish-German relations, Bagysh noted that "the largest Turkish diaspora abroad lives in Germany, where about four million of our citizens and compatriots currently reside."

    "Germany is of great importance to Turkey given that the largest number of tourists to Turkey comes from this European country; the trade turnover between the two remains at a high," he said.

    At the same time, he lamented the fact that relations between Berlin and Ankara have been strained for a considerable time.

    "So far, Germany has not extradited any member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party or the FETO to Turkey. These organizations, which pose a threat to Turkey's security with their activities, see Germany as a safe haven. This situation needs to be changed," Bagysh said.

    On Wednesday, the German newspaper Die Welt reported that Turkish intelligence is allegedly collecting information on members of the German parliament.

    Politico quoted Die Welt as saying that Turkey' National Intelligence Organization (MIT) tried to obtain information on Bundestag politicians and that "the German Federal Criminal Police (BKA) briefed members of parliament, including officials involved with domestic, foreign and defense policy, in recent weeks in response."

    In a separate development in late May, German Ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann said that Berlin and Ankara are working on resolving the Incirlik airbase crisis after Turkey banned German lawmakers from visiting the base.

    On May 15, the German Foreign Ministry said that a visit by German lawmakers to the country's troops stationed at Incirlik was stalled by the Turkish side a day before it was due to take place.

    Related:

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    activities, threat, tourists, importance, citizens, summit, confidence, NATO, Turkey, Germany
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