ANKARA: Turkey Calls for Concrete Steps from US on PKK

Turkey Calls for Concrete Steps from US on PKK

Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey
June 16 2005

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara was confident
over Armenian allegations as one million Ottoman documents studied
in the Turkish archives prove the claims are totaly wrong.

Erdogan also said that Ankara Turkey to see the US taking concrete
steps to halt the infiltration of members of the terrorist organisation
the PKK, which has bases in Northern Iraq, into Turkey.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Turkish television station
NTV, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the US, which has
troops on the ground in the region, needed to do more to combat the
terrorist group.

“If we are going to fight against terrorism jointly, we shall expect
concrete steps from our friends. The number of martyrs we have lost
in the last four months is in very clear,” Erdogan said.

When asked to asses his recent visit to the US, the Prime Minister
said he was content with the outcome.

“I never said that we got what we wanted, I was I was content. These
are two different things,” he said.

On the issue of relations with the US, Prime Minister denied there
were any problems, adding that Turkey and US were strategic partners.
Turkey was with US in NATO and in Afghanistan, Erdogan said,
rejecting suggestions that ties between the two countries had been
damaged by Ankara’s refusal to allow US forces to use Turkey as a
base to launch an invasion into Iraq. Coalition forces were getting
logistical support from Turkey, he added.

Ankara is expecting to see what steps will be taken by the US on the
Cyprus issue, the Prime Minister said, adding that it was pleasing
that members of the US Congress had visited the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus.

In respect to another concern in the Turkey-American relations,
Erdogan praised the Ankara’s betterment of relations with Syria,
saying this had not been achieved in the last 40 years. “A new era
has started with the rule of Esad,” he said. “We are also holding
talks on the issues of terrorism and human rights,” he said.

Turning to domestic issues, Erdogan stressed that the structure of
presidential election were set out by the constitution and said there
were laws covering the issue of what the wife of the president can be.

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