BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government is considering adding Turkey to a list of countries that pose high security risks for intelligence agents, police officers and military officials, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and two broadcasters reported late on Tuesday.
The reports come amid heightened tensions between the two NATO partners and vows by German officials to restrict arms sales to Turkey, in a move that Ankara said would hurt their joint fight against Islamic State.
The newspaper and WDR and NDR broadcasters quoted a spokesman for the Interior Ministry as saying that the list was currently being reviewed.
“As part of this process, the Interior Ministry is examining whether to add Turkey to the list,” the spokesman was quoted as saying. The list now includes China, Russia, Pakistan, North Korea and 26 other countries.
Germany’s Interior Ministry, contacted by Reuters, was not immediately available to comment.
Some German intelligence agencies argued for viewing Turkey less as a partner than an enemy and called for expanding intelligence surveillance of Turkey’s activities in the fight against Islamist groups, the media outlets said.
Some agencies had also warned employees in recent months about the risks of travelling to Turkey and cautioned others not to travel there on vacation, they said.
German officials have been enraged by Turkey’s arrest of around a dozen German citizens, including the German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who has been held for over 200 days.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg