Turkish Daily News - Ankara firm on reaching regional stability via intense dialogue with allies - Jan 08, 2006
Ankara firm on reaching regional stability via intense dialogue with allies
Sunday, January 8, 2006
‘It’s true that high-level visits to Turkey have recently intensified. Those intensified visits will continue. Looking at regional developments, it’s obvious that there are a lot of hot issues to be discussed between Turkey and its allies, including the United States,’ say Turkish Foreign Ministry sources EMİNE KARTANKARA - Turkish Daily News
In a cascade effect over the last 10 days, after a German-based news agency report on the “secret agenda” of the high-level visits by U.S. officials to Ankara in December, the Turkish media's curiosity has kept both the Turkish foreign minister himself and ministry officials occupied with statements of denial, insistently and firmly trying to explain that there has been no behind-the-scenes efforts to jointly develop measures with the United States against Iran and Syria.
Media reports based on a sole media report -- without having any new facts added -- stemmed from the German news agency ddp Nachrichtenagentur's Dec. 23 report saying that “U.S. plans to attack Iran next year were on the agenda of both Goss and Mueller's talks in Ankara,” in reference to separate visits by U.S. CIA Director Porter Goss and another key U.S. security official, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller. Goss arrived in Ankara on Dec. 11, only two days after Mueller.
“The visits that took place in recent days have nothing to do with Iran or Syria. These visits are [contributions] towards strengthening bilateral relations [between Turkey and the United States],” Gül said the following day after the German report was released. However, he had to reiterate a few times remarks in which he had dismissed the presence of a common policy towards the two neighboring countries, while describing such notions as “fictitious.”
A code to decode for media:
Yet, then came a report from Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post on the last day of 2005, saying that the U.S. administration has “reportedly” began coordinating with NATO on U.S. plans for a possible military assault on Iran's nuclear installations, referring to German media reports.
The Turkish media carried The Jerusalem Post story -- one newspaper had a banner headline that read “Code of the Visits,” prompting the Turkish Foreign Ministry to feel as if they had to release a comprehensive written statement titled, “About Speculation Formed Within the Framework of an Allegation that the United States has Asked Turkey for Use of Military Bases.”
The title was strong and sufficient to explicate both aspiration and inspiration from the statement.
“It's been observed that various speculations have been created in the national and international media concerning some high-level visits to our country that took place recently, including a visit by the CIA director. These speculations formed within the framework of an allegation that the United States has asked Turkey for use of military bases in order to launch an attack on certain neighboring countries have nothing to do with the facts. Ongoing speculations, despite earlier denials on our part, are saddening,” the statement -- released on the same day as Sabah's coverage -- said in reference to Gül's repeated dismissal of media reports
“Yes, it's true that high-level visits to Turkey have recently been intensified. Those intensified visits will continue. Taking a look at regional developments, it's obvious that there are a lot of hot issues Turkey and its allies, including the United States, need to consult on,” Foreign Ministry sources confidently told the Turkish Daily News, downplaying the Turkish media's frenzy and seeking to curb media guessing on ulterior motives for the visits.
‘Turkey's policy is an active policy based on diplomatic efforts':
Turkey appreciates the right of a state to use nuclear energy; however, it is definitely against any country possessing weapons of mass destruction, Gül said on Wednesday, in apparent reference to Iran's controversial nuclear program.
On the same day as Gül, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson, described his approach concerning his mission as “to look forward to how Washington and Ankara can work together in the future in those many areas where we have common interests and common objectives.”
"When we look elsewhere around Turkey's borders, it is Syria and Iran, we see continued difficulty, instability, in the case of Iran and Syria continued challenges of the international community and to peace and freedom." Wilson said. "Based on my conversations with the government I believe that Turkey, the Turkish government, wants the same thing in those countries that the United States wants. I want to try while I'm here, and I believe the Turkish government wants to try as well, to find ways we can work together to accomplish, and bring about the ends on which we agree in those two countries."
The same sources said that Wilson's remarks should be read as a justification of the Turkish administration's stance firmly supporting diplomatic efforts that will continue until the last possible point in order to prevent further disputes or any kinds of clashes.
“What Turkey has been cautiously doing up until today is to assume and prefer diplomatic efforts in particular to reach regional stability and peace. It's an active policy,” the sources said.