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Turkey said today it had asked a Greek diplomat accused of spying to leave the country, in a worsening of relations between the two traditional foes.

"One of the administrative officials in the Greek consulate in Istanbul was found engaged in activities incompatible with his status and was asked to leave Turkey within seven days," Foreign Ministry spokesman Sermet Atacanli said, adding, "He was engaged in intelligence-gathering operations."

He said a Turkish Foreign Ministry official had summoned the Greek ambassador last week and asked him to withdraw the diplomat, but it was not clear if he had yet left the country.

The Turkish press accused the diplomat over the weekend of gathering information on Turkish military installations and aiding Kurdish guerrillas active in southeast Turkey.

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