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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] HERE YOU ARE ANAI - ISLAM ON LINE 5th JULY 2003 (www.IslamOnlne.com) Turkey Protests Arrest Of Its Troops In N. Iraq "This is a repugnant incident that should never have happened," Erdogan said By Sa'ad Abdul Maguid, IOL Turkey Correspondent ANKARA, July 5 (IslamOnline.net) - The Turkish foreign ministry lodged a protest with the U.S. administration late Friday, July 4, over American forces storming of the headquarters of Turkish special troops in the northern Iraqi city of As-Sulaymaniyah and the rounding up of 11 Turkish servicemen. About 100 U.S. soldiers stormed the local offices of the Turkish special forces after cutting the telephone lines and transferred them to the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on suspicions of plotting an attack on the Kurdish governor of Kirkuk. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reportedly furious at the U.S. raid on his troops. "This is a repugnant incident that should never have happened," Anatolia news agency quoted Erdogan as saying. "We cannot accept this," Erdogan protested, condemning the U.S. for "behavior unworthy of two allied countries in a coalition". The Turkish leader told Anatolia he had demanded the immediate release of the men. He said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had discussed the arrests with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had assured him that the Turkish soldiers were safe and that he would do what he could to have them freed. The Turkish deputy chief of staff released a statement, which slammed the incident as a mistake that would affect the U.S.-Turkish relations which date back to half a century. The statement denied that the Turkish troops were planning to assassinate the governor of Kirkuk, asserting that Turkish troops were officially deployed in northern Iraq in coordination with the U.S. to monitor the situation in northern Iraqi cities dominated by Turkmen. Washington and Ankara agreed April 10 on deploying Turkish military observers in northern Iraq. A 30-strong Turkish unit was then sent there. The U.S. assured Ankara that it would send reinforcements to Kirkuk to replace Kurdish forces who seized the city after the downfall of Baghdad. Three officers and eight non-commissioned officers were arrested on Friday in Sulaymaniyah, the Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper reported. It added that following the incident Turkey had closed the border gate of al-Khabour and only allowed U.N. vehicles to pass. _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk