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Turkish Press Review, 18th August 2014

Turkish dailies covered Berlin’s confirmation of German magazine Der Spiegel’s claim that German secret service have been spying on Turkey since 2009. The weekly also reported that had accidentally intercepted phone conversations of both U.S. secretaries of State, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. “Scandalous Confession” headlined VATAN. The daily said Berlin had confirmed that the German intelligence agency BND has been spying on Turkey since 2009. It also quoted German officials as saying “Turkey was the German government's official target for intelligence gathering in 2009's updated duty profile.” The daily also cited three main reasons for the German secret service to be spying Turkey: monitoring the Turkish government's involvement in various Turkish clubs and foundations in Germany, investigating the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as well as tracking the drug smuggling trade througout Turkey. The front page of MILLIYET reads: “Turkey not a friend country”. The daily cited anonymous German government sources as saying, "We have never claimed in recent years that such an attitude [wiretapping] would be considered for all NATO countries. Turkey is not comparable to the US or European partners such as France and the United Kingdom. What happens in Turkey has direct relevance to the internal security of Germany.”

Monday’s newspaper also reported on the human tragedy of the Ezidi ethnic minority, which fled from the Iraqi northwestern town of Sinjar to the Syrian border because they faced almost certain death at the hands of incoming Islamic State (IS) militants.

“Surviving after massacre,” titled MILLIYET. The newspaper ran an exclusive story about Ezidi survivors in Mount Sinjan recounting their escape from IS militants. The daily’s reporter accompanied the Ezidis and reported that upon arriving at Mount Sinjar the first thing they heard of was the latest massacre of 80 Ezidis, allegedly beheaded by IS militants. The daily also describes the dire conditions of refugees under 50 degree heat.

HURRIYET added, “The survivors are dying of illness”, reporting on the conditions of the Ezidis who have taken shelter in the northern Iraqi city of Zaho. The daily said 22 Ezidis had lost their lives in the last ten days due to disease and malnutrition.

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