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Not-so NATO-ally? Germany spying on Turkey for ‘38 years’

‘German foreign intelligence agency has been tapping Turkey for almost four decades, reports Focus amid the ongoing spy scandal between Berlin and Ankara. Some German officials defend the practice, saying that not all NATO allies can be treated as friends.

READ MORE: Germany tapped John Kerry’s phone, spied on Turkey for years – report

The German Federal Intelligence Service, BND, has been eavesdropping on Turkey since 1976 following the Social Democrat Chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s government approval, Focus magazine wrote on Saturday.

Passions over previous spying allegations revealed in the media are still running high, but a new report may add fuel to the fire triggering further tensions between the two long-time North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies.

As for the current BND’s mandate to keep their eye on Turkish political and social institutions, it had also been given a green light by a government working group, which brought together representatives of the chancellor’s office, the defense, foreign and economy ministries, reported Focus, citing government sources.

A spokesman for the German government declined to comment on the report, Reuters writes.’

Read More: Not-so NATO-ally? Germany spying on Turkey for ‘38 years’