Turkey smells US Dollars and caves in to pressure

  • From: "muslim-news.net" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 08:42:16 -0000

Turkey smells US Dollars and caves in to pressure 


Turkey's parliament has agreed to allow the United States to upgrade
Turkish military bases in preparation for a possible war with Iraq 


Deputies passed a motion on Thursday authorising US personnel to start
"renovation, development, construction, expansion and infrastructure
work at military bases". 
The BBC's correspondent in Istanbul, Jonny Dymond, says the vote is
Turkey's first step on the road to war. 
A vote on allowing Turkish troops to be sent abroad and foreign troops
to be stationed in Turkey is expected in about 10 days' time. 
As a Nato member, the country has been under intense pressure from
Washington to allow US troops to use its bases as a platform to attack
Our correspondent says the Turkish Government resisted as long as it
thought conflict could be averted. 
But before Thursday's vote Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said Turkey had
no choice but to back Washington on Iraq. 
Iraq warning 
"We have to act together with our strategic partner and ally the United
States for our national interests," the daily Milliyet quoted him as
saying, echoing remarks by his party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on
The motion was passed by 308 votes to 93 with 9 abstentions. 
It makes clear that Turkey regards itself as a victim of circumstances. 
Before the vote, Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, Talib Abid Saleh, warned
that any state providing logistical support to the US would "be
participating in the war. 
"Countries which participate in this manner will be committing a big
crime and a strategic mistake," he said. 
Kurdish fears 
Many Turks fear war with its neighbour would lead Kurdish groups in the
north of Iraq to break away, correspondents say. 
Such a move could re-ignite tensions among its own Kurdish population
who fought a 15-year guerrilla war for independence. 
There are also concerns that as in the previous Gulf war, Turkey's
fragile economy will be hit severely by a campaign against Baghdad. 
The United Nations refugee agency predicts that thousands of Iraqis are
likely to flee to Turkey in the event of a conflict. 
The US Government has promised Ankara financial assistance - ranging
from between $4bn and $15bn - to help alleviate the war's economic


Source:  BBC

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