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Man arrested in Germany on suspicion of spying for Turkey

German authorities in Hamburg arrested a Turkish man suspected of spying on Kurds living in Germany. Turkey has cracked down on suspected opponents, including Kurds, following an attempted coup.

The German Federal Prosecutor's Office announced Friday it arrested a man suspected of spying for Turkey. The man was arrested on Thursday and is accused of spying on local Kurdish people for the Turkish government.

"The accused is strongly suspected of working for the Turkish intelligence agency and providing information about Kurds living in Germany, including their whereabouts, contacts and political activities," read a statement from the prosecutor's office.

The office did not comment on the accused man's ties to Turkey or how long he has been living in Germany. The man's home was searched following the arrest.

Ties between German and Turkey, both of which are NATO members, have been strained in recent months. The German parliament voted to declare the 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire genocide. Turkey has accused Germany of harboring militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is banned in both Turkey and Germany. Germany has denied the claim.

The German government has criticized a crackdown on opposition politicians, journalists, academics and people suspected of having ties to pro-Kurdish groups or to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara blames for orchestrating the failed July coup - an accusation he denies.

Turkey has increased  it military attacks on the PKK following a failed coup d'etat in July. The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous homeland in southeast Turkey for three decades. A ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK collapsed in 2015.

kbd/sms (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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