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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Former NSA Agent Edward Snowden Says US, UK Spied On Turkey

Former NSA agent Edward Snowden

(Photo : FACEBOOK) Former NSA agent Edward Snowden

Former NSA agent Edward Snowden released documents showing confidential information about the United States and United Kingdom's spying on Turkey.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel and online magazine Intercept, Snowden showed documentation that Turkey was one of the countries that the U.S. have tasked the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on.

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The documents showed that the aim of the intelligence work was to study the "leadership intention" in Turkey and to observe the country's operations in different areas.

Since 2006, the NSA has been conducting reconnaissance work to gain access to the computers of Turkish leaders.

According to the documents, Turkey is ahead of Cuba based on the ranks of countries that the U.S. is spying on.

The mission included acquiring information regarding the goal of the Turkish government and obtaining data on the country's military forces, energy security and foreign policy plans, among others.

All the obtained information were shared with four other countries -- Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain

According to the documents Snowden released, among all the Asian countries, Turkey has the longest partnership with the NSA.

The agency has been supporting Turkey against rebellious Kurds for years and has even provided the country with intel on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which helped the Turkish government capture its targets.

Even during President Obama's presidency, the partnership between the NSA and Turkey has continued, with U.S. officials offering to analyze intercepted PKK conversations to aid Turkey in combating the Kurdish outlaws in 2012.

Meanwhile, a classified document stated that British intelligence, GCHQ, ordered its agents in October 2008 to access confidential information on the Turkish Energy Ministry.

The British order included surveillance and data gathering on 13 targets, including then Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler.

In June, Turkey met with Germany's ambassador to discuss the reports about a 2009 document identifying Ankara as surveillance and spying target.

In a statement released by Turkey's Foreign Ministry, it stated that if the allegations were proved to be true, it was "absolutely unacceptable."

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