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Spying scandals.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- It seems we'll never hear the end of spying scandals. First we had the WikiLeaks documents, exposing an important amount of classified media from anonymous sources; then came the American computer professional Edward Snowden's revelations. He has released critical information about numerous global surveillance programs, many of them run by the United States. This scandal has damaged the US's image around the world and forced Washington to explain many of its "secret" policies to its partners.

This series of revelations about Washington's spying activities has made decision makers all around the world think the United States is not a trustworthy partner, a so-called ally that eavesdrops on its friends. This atmosphere of distrust has pushed the US to reassess many aspects of its foreign policy.

While these scandals were unfolding, President Barack Obama's administration decided to call US troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, but it decided to maintain its military presence on the European continent. Now we have quite a lot of information about who has eavesdropped on whom, but we don't know exactly what they have heard.

To add to this, a brutal organization called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has appeared out of the blue, and its actions have forced the US to return militarily to Iraq. The idea of a common threat has healed the damaged relations between the United States and its Western European allies. Perhaps this is just a coincidence, but this positive atmosphere has been interrupted once again by new revelations. This is again about eavesdropping: who has recorded whose conversations, which institutions were involved, the methods and the purpose of the spying and so on. The revelations will probably continue.

We have learned, by the way, that Germany was spying on Turkey, especially in situations concerning the Kurds, the negotiation process and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) actions. This revelation was a way of telling the world that Germany is seeking a role in the Middle East through the Kurds. At a time when the US is trying to find a way to retreat from the Middle East, it is interesting to learn that Germany is trying to fill the gap that will follow the US's departure. This spying scandal has exposed Germany's intentions, thus preventing their fulfillment.

Germany didn't wait long to counter-attack and the German media began talking about the US's spying activities concerning Turkey. The reference was, once again, to Snowden's documents, and Turkey was probably already aware of these spying activities. The German press hinted that the US was especially interested in the negotiation process with the PKK. This comes as no surprise, either: The US and Turkey have been working together for a long time to resolve the Kurdish issue, especially since Ankara decided to deal with this problem without the military.

These news reports, however, can still create a kind of crisis of confidence among the negotiating parties. Perhaps the next step will be revelations about what actually happened recently in Lice and Roboski. In other words, this revelation seems to target Turkey's negotiation process and the US's efforts to contribute to the talks.

Even without these revelations, people could have guessed who has been eavesdropping on whom, and for what reason. What is interesting is the timing of these revelations. We are witnessing a post-modern intelligence war.

The belligerents of this war are great and powerful countries and they are using other countries as third parties to pursue their struggle. These third-party countries, astonished by these revelations, feel bound to make strategic decisions and they ally themselves more closely with one side or another.

One wishes these great powers would simply confront each other directly for the sake of the negotiation process. No one will stand to benefit if peace negotiations fail. Turkey will sink into instability and our allies will face the consequences arising from that eventuality as much as we will. Wouldn't it be wiser for these countries to stop using Turkey in their fights and instead try to win Turkey by, for example, reactivating Turkey's membership process for the European Union? (Beril Dedeoy-lu/Today's Zaman)


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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Sep 3, 2014
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