Istanbul : Turkish Prime Minister Rajab Tayyip Erdogan Thursday denied strongly the existence of a secret deal with the United States to support Turkey in the fight against the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Erdogan described rumours about a deal as “ugly allegations,” saying that Turkey would not give anything to the United States for support in the fight against the PKK because Turkey did not have to.
“The Prime Minister of Turkey is not without honour to compromise the interests of his country secretly by making a deal to get American cooperation in this regard,” he told local TV channel 7.
The Turkish opposition parties, especially the Republican People’s Party, had alluded to the existence of a secret deal between Erdogan and President George W. Bush clinched during their meeting in Washington last Nov 5. Some local and foreign media had also alluded to that.
Erdogan stressed in the course of his criticism of the opposition parties that they should never practice politics on the basis of allegations and rumours, calling them to be impartial and fair.
With regard to criticism of the opposition parties of the government’s efforts to expand the scope of the amnesty law for rebel Kurds, Erdogan said that the political parties should cooperate with the government which is fully prepared to accept any new proposals in this regard.
In a related matter, US ambassador in Ankara Ross Wilson said last week that his country would continue its cooperation with Turkey in the field of intelligence information on the activity of elements of the PKK in northern Iraq.
Wilson said that Washington was making every effort to supply Turkey with information on the movements and locations of these elements in the framework of cooperation for the elimination of the activity of this terrorist organization which is a common enemy of Turkey and the United States and Iraq.
He noted that this cooperation will continue as the US will provide the necessary information to Turkey through the mechanism of coordination between the two countries.
It should be noted that the Turkish ambassador in Washington Nabi Shansoi had also said earlier that the air raids that have occurred recently against the positions of the elements of the PKK in northern Iraq came on the basis of information obtained by Turkey from the CIA.
“CNN” news quoted the Turkish ambassador saying that Turkish air raids against PKK positions in northern Iraq were a clear instance of growing cooperation between Washington and Ankara in the area of intelligence, particularly after the recent visit by Erdogan to the United States.
Turkey had recently launched several attacks across the border into Iraq in an attempt to eradicate PKK rebels, who use northern Iraq as a base for launching attacks against Turkey.
The PKK — put by the United States, Turkey and the European Union on the list of terrorist organizations — took up arms against Turkey in 1984 to establish an ethnic homeland in north-eastern Turkey.
Up to 40,000 people have been killed in this ongoing conflict for more than two decades.