Turkey wants more US intelligence on PKK in Iraq

Turkey expects more than intelligence sharing from its NATO ally the United States and its neighbor Iraq for a more active fight against PKK.

Turkey wants more US intelligence on PKK in Iraq

Turkey expects more than intelligence sharing from its NATO ally the United States and its neighbor Iraq for a more active fight against PKK, Turkish government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Turkey, United States and Iraq initiated a trilateral mechanism in 2007. The U.S. has been providing Turkey with intelligence regarding the movements of PKK militants.

"Intelligence sharing is going on in different ways," Cemil Cicek told reporters. "But Turkey wants more than this."

Cicek said there are new efforts discussed within the trilateral mechanism, adding, "we hope these efforts come into action soon."

Turkey has repeatedly complained that the PKK has been taking shelter and carrying out activities in different countries, not only in the north of Iraq, and asked extradition of PKK members from several countries.

"In order to get rid of this trouble, the terrorist organization's activities in European countries, almost all of them are NATO members, and in the north of Iraq should be suppressed," Cicek said.

Turkey has been fighting PKK over the past 26 years. Turkey has launched several cross border operations into the north of Iraq in the past to track down PKK militants, who took refuge at the their mountain camps there. The militant group uses the region as a launchpad for its attacks inside Turkey.

Cicek said Turkey had given a list of PKK members to Iraqi central government for extradition of criminals, adding that the PKK has been holding its annual congress at Mount Qandil in northern Iraq for years.

"Members of the terrorist organization coming from several countries, especially from European countries, land at airports in northern Iraq and attend these meetings. This example shows that both Iraq and the United States, which controls the airspace there, have a lot to do," he said.

"At the same time we have clear expectations from Europe. Nobody should drag feet," Cicek said, adding that there are countries that labeled PKK as a terrorist organization but also admitted that it is home to 11,500 PKK members and their media organs.

He said Turkey would continue to seek its rights stemming from international law and treaties, and went on saying, "international law requires either extradition or trial of a criminal. They neither extradite nor try them."


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Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Haziran 2010, 17:11

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