Snowden leaks reveal US, UK spying on Turkey

These revelations come just one week after it was revealed that Germany had also been spying on fellow NATO-member Turkey.

Snowden leaks reveal US, UK spying on Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk

Documents leaked by former NSA agent Edward Snowden have revealed details about US and British spying on Turkey.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has been revealing information about America's top secret NSA intelligence gathering methods since escaping to Russia last year, told Spiegel and The Intercept that the NSA was tasked with divining Turkey's "leadership intention" in addition to monitoring its operations in 18 other key areas.

These revelations come just one week after it was revealed that Germany had also been spying on fellow NATO-member Turkey.

Although Snowden's documents also reveal cooperation between Turkish and American intelligence agencies in the fight against PKK Kurdish separatist fighters in the country's south-east - with the NSA revealing information about PKK leaders both in Turkey and in Europe as part of an Ankara-based joint working group called the Combined Intelligence Fusion Cell - NSA experts didn't trust Turkey with an automatic keyword search function for a speech recognition system that enabled real-time analysis of intercepted conversations.

According to Germany's daily Spiegel, one NSA document describes Turkey as both a "partner and target." For this reason, in addition to the official the NSA's Special Liaison Activity Turkey (SUSLAT) office in Ankara, the US has two more secret branch offices that operate Special Collection Service listening stations in both Istanbul and Ankara. The National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF) also updates the US president every six months with regards to Turkey's "standing" from the perspective of the US.

The NIPF report's April 2013 edition shows that Turkey was even ahead of Cuba as one of the most frequently targeted countries with US intelligence services tasked with collecting data in 19 different areas of interest including information about the government's "leadership intention," military infrastructure, foreign policy goals and energy security.

As of 2006, the NSA has been targeting the computers of Turkey's top political leaders in an effort the "Turkish Surge Project Plan," with one document noting success in the "first-ever computer network exploitation" of the Turkish leadership six months into the operation.

In 2010 the NSA also spied on the Washington Turkish Embassy's telephone system and computer network using spyware in an operation code named "Powder." As well as that, they ran a similar "Blackhawk" project for monitoring Turkey's representation to the United Nations in New York with Trojan software which could copy entire hard drives.

Information acquired was shared with the NSA's "Five Eyes" partners - namely Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with Britain already running its own GCHQ monitoring operations on Turkish political targets and elements in the energy sector.

A GCHQ document dated October 2008 listed the Turkish Energy Ministry (MENR), the Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS), the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and the energy company Calik Enerji among targets, as well as then Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and current Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek. Simsek in particular had two mobile phone numbers and his private Gmail address breached.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Ağustos 2014, 16:16