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>From Turkish sources: 1) Foreign Ministry Reacts Strongly To U.S. Detention Of Turkish Soldiers 2) [Turkish] Foreign Ministry Reacts Strongly to US Detention of Turkish Officers (with official Turk FM statement) ----------- http://www.turkishpress.com/turkishpress/news.asp?ID=11555 Foreign Ministry Reacts Strongly To U.S. Detention Of Turkish Soldiers Anadolu Agency: 7/5/2003 ERDOGAN: IT IS AN EXTREMELY DISTRESSING INCIDENT ANKARA - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday about detention of Turkish soldiers by U.S. soldiers in northern Iraq, ''it is an extremely distressing incident. Such a development should not have occurred. This attitude of an ally country against its ally cannot be explained with any political style.'' Responding questions of journalists, Prime Minister Erdogan said, ''unfortunately, such a development occurred yesterday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been monitoring the developments in coordination with the General Staff Chief General Hilmi Ozkok. Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul called U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on the phone. We requested the United States to release our soldiers as soon as possible. They told us that our soldiers were safe. We will inform you on new developments. '' GUL: IT IS AN INAPPROPRIATE INCIDENT Gul said, ''detention of eleven Turkish soldiers by U.S. soldiers in northern Iraq is totally an inappropriate incident.'' Responding questions of journalists, Gul said, ''we have been monitoring all developments. I held a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell overnight. I told him that it was unacceptable. It is an inappropriate incident. Such incidents between the two allied armies cannot be accepted. Our initiatives have been continuing both in Ankara and Washington D.C. A high-level delegation left southeastern province of Silopi for northern Iraq. I hope that the problem would be resolved as soon as possible.'' When asked whether or not the incident was regarded with closing of the border gate in Silopi, Gul told reporters, ''the border gate is not closed. There are some restrictions in the border gate.'' ERDOGAN: ''A DELEGATION HAS LEFT FOR SULEYMANIYAH'' Erdogan said, ''a delegation has left for Suleymaniyah, northern Iraq, regarding detention of eleven Turkish soldiers by U.S. soldiers in northern Iraq. I hope that we would resolve the incident till this evening.'' Responding questions of journalists, Prime Minister Erdogan said, ''there is not any serious development for the time being. I have been holding continuous contacts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Staff.'' Noting that a delegation was sent to Suleymaniyah, Prime Minister Erdogan said that delegation would hold necessary meetings in northern Iraq. When asked whether Turkish soldiers were kept by U.S. officials or peshmergas, Prime Minister Erdogan said that they had not received a clear information. When asked whether or not Habur Border Gate was closed, Prime Minister Erdogan told reporters that the border gate was open, but transportation of gasoline was halted. When asked whether or not additional measures would be taken, Erdogan said that they would inform journalists on new developments. ''I hope that we would resolve the incident till this evening,'' he added. U.S. EMBASSY IN ANKARA UNDERSECRETARY DEUTCH AT FOREIGN MINISTRY Meetings between Ankara and Washington D.C. have been continuing since detention of eleven Turkish soldiers in Suleymaniyah city of Iraq by U.S. soldiers. Under this, U.S. Embassy in Ankara Undersecretary Robert Deutch came to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet ministry officials. Deutch was summoned to the ministry yesterday and Ankara's uneasiness was conveyed to him. Meanwhile, sources said that U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson was currently not in Ankara. DEUTCH: ''WE HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT FOR SOLUTION OF THE ISSUE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE'' Replying questions of reporters following the meeting which lasted twenty minutes, Deutch said that they had been in contact for solution of the issue as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Deutch did not answer questions of reporters who asked him when Turkish soldiers would be released. Sources said that at the meeting, the Turkish side had expressed its sensitivities and requested release of Turkish soldiers. Deutch said that the issue had been investigated and they were waiting for information from Washington. AK PARTY DEPUTY LEADER FIRAT: ''WE WANT TO MENTION THAT WE DON'T THINK STAGING OF SUCH AN OPERATION BY THE UNITED STATES RIGHT AND WE WISH THAT SUCH INCIDENTS WOULDN'T OCCUR AGAIN IN THE FUTURE'' Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat said on Saturday regarding detention of Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq by U.S. soldiers, ''we want to mention that we don't think staging of such an operation by the United States right, and we wish that such incidents wouldn't occur again in the future''. Following the AK Party Central Decision-Making Board meeting at the AK Party Headquarters in Ankara, Firat made statements to reporters. When recalled of detention of Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq by U.S. soldiers and asked of latest developments, Firat said, ''it has been affirmed that it was wrong, and it was not appropriate to bring bilateral relations to such a point by an allied country. However, since the beginning of the incident, all necessary information and contacts have been set up, and our Armed Forces personnel are expected to be released as of this morning. Besides, we want to mention that we don't think staging of such an operation by the United States right and we wish that such incidents wouldn't occur again in the future. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been closely following the incident. And necessary information was given to the Prime Minister.'' Replying a question, Firat said that Turkish soldiers had not been released as of 8 a.m. the same day but they could have been released at the moment. Replying another question about cause of the incident, Firat said, ''there is an information that it was a result of a tip-off about preparations for assassination of the Kirkuk Mayor.'' Firat said that there was not any connection between the incident and Kurdish groups led by Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani in northern Iraq, and it was an incident that had been staged completely by U.S. soldiers. When recalled of Talabani's statement saying, ''we keep Turkish soldiers'', Firat said, ''no, such a thing is absolutely out of question. Here, our interlocutor is the United States.'' Replying another question, Firat said that talks with the United States at every level had been continuing. --------------- http://www.zaman.com/default.php?kn=3071 July 05, 2003 Saturday Foreign Ministry Reacts Strongly to US Detention of Turkish Officers TURKEY, July 05, 2003 - In a statement issued just moments ago, the Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern and sorrow at the detention of 11 members of Turkish Armed Forces by US troops in Suleymaniye, Iraq yesterday. The Turkish officers are believed to have been taken to Kerkuk (Kirkuk). The ministry said that upon receiving the news yesterday afternoon, top level talks were held with Washington. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Commander in Chief and U.S. European Forces Commander General James L. Jones and US Secretary of State Colin Powell were contacted. At home, the foreign ministry and general staff are continuing efforts to resolve the situation. The Undersecretary of the US Ambassador in Ankara Robert Deutch was summoned to the ministry. The statement reads as follows: "In our contacts with Washington we emphasized many times the immediate release of the Turkish soldiers, that the necessary measures be taken and we requested that the responsible US officials inform us of developments. Any developments, regarding the incident, that would have a possible impact on the US-Turkish relations will be followed very closely." It has been claimed that the officers were suspected of plotting to assassinate the governor of Kirkuk." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk