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[casi] Re: Turkish Troops Arrested in N Iraq

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Turkey Protests Arrest Of Its Troops In N. Iraq 
"This is a repugnant incident that should never have happened," Erdogan
By Sa'ad Abdul Maguid, IOL Turkey Correspondent
ANKARA, July 5 ( - 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
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.

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