Joined: 25 Oct 2003
| Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 6:10 pm Post subject: [E] Swiss investigate alleged case of Turkish espionage
|Neue Zürcher Zeitung | Monday October 27, 2003
Swiss investigate alleged case of Turkish espionage
The Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office has said it will investigate whether Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey was unlawfully spied on by the Turkish secret service.
Turkish spies allegedly recorded a meeting earlier this year between Calmy-Rey and a representative of a Kurdish organisation banned in Turkey.
According to a report in the German-language newspaper "Tages-Anzeiger", Turkish authorities informed Ruth Metzler's justice ministry about the meeting which allegedly took place in Lausanne, on the shores of Lake Geneva.
The information was then communicated to the Swiss president and interior minister, Pascal Couchepin.
Calmy-Rey was reportedly told about the incident at a meeting Couchepin convened on October 3, the "Tages-Anzeiger" wrote this weekend.
Asked about the incident while on a working visit to New York, Calmy-Rey said that "the Kurds are closely watched by the Turkish secret service."
No knowledge The Federal Prosecutor's Office said it had no knowledge of the incident, but that it would launch an investigation into the matter.
"We will try and clarify the incident as described in the paper," Hansjürg Wiedmer, a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor's Office, explained.
The coordinator of Switzerland's information service, Jacques Pitteloud, also said he had not been informed about an operation by Turkey's secret service on Swiss soil.
The "Tages-Anzeiger" further claimed that the meeting in Lausanne was the "real" reason why Ankara cancelled a scheduled visit by Calmy-Rey to Turkey at the beginning of October.
At the time, the Turkish government argued that it could not accept a decision by a Swiss cantonal parliament to officially recognise the killings of Armenians in 1915 as genocide.
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