Turkey demanded an explanation Monday from the United States over allegations that it has been spying extensively on Ankara's leaders since 2006.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Turkish officials met with the highest-ranking U.S. diplomat currently in Turkey, charge d'affaires Jess Baily, about a new report in German magazine Der Spiegel saying the U.S. National Security Agency and Britain's GCHQ surveillance agency had eavesdropped on Turkey.
Arinc did not say what response Baily gave the officials.
The magazine said its report was based on documents leaked by fugitive former American national security contractor Edward Snowden, who worked for the U.S. spy agency and a year ago released thousands of documents to journalists spelling out details of clandestine American surveillance programs. He fled first to Hong Kong and now is living in asylum in Russia, which is refusing to extradite him to the U.S. to stand trial on espionage charges.
The Der Spiegel report contends that while the U.S. was spying on Turkey, it also worked closely to provide Ankara, a NATO ally, with extensive information about Kurdish militants fighting an insurgency for more autonomy in southeastern Turkey.
The magazine said one NSA document described Turkey as both a "partner and a target" of the U.S.