NATO COMMANDER GEN. JONES ARRIVES IN ANKARA FOR DEPLOYMENT TALKS
Gen. James Jones, supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe, yesterday arrived in Ankara to discuss with both military and civilian officials a possible Turkish troop deployment to Iraq. Jones' first scheduled meeting today will be with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, and later he is expected to visit Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul. Ozkok earlier issued a statement saying the aim of their meeting would be to get needed information about the possible mission in Iraq, which in turn would be submitted to the government and Parliament to help guide their decision. "We will get the military information that we need, nothing more," said Ozkok. Ozkok added that a US delegation would also soon arrive in Turkey to hold technical meetings. /All Papers/
US AMBASSADOR EDELMAN: "WASHINGTON WANTS TO SEE TURKEY ON ITS SIDE"
Newly posted US Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman yesterday met with Ankara Chamber of Industry Chairman Zafer Caglayan to exchange views on recent political and economic developments. Ankara and Washington reportedly recently agreed on the terms of an $8.5 billion loan from to help Turkey cushion the economic impact of the Iraq war. Despite recent rumors that the loan was tied to Ankara's military cooperation in Iraq, Edelman denied any direct link between the loan deal and possible Turkish troop deployments in Iraq. "However, Washington wants to see Turkey on its side," said the US ambassador. For his part, Caglayan stated that Turkey wished to establish fuller economic cooperation with the US, rather than receiving limited loan funds. "I told Edelman that Ankara wanted to protect Iraq's territorial integrity and also improve cooperation between Turkish and US businessmen in Iraq's reconstruction," added Caglayan. /Cumhuriyet/
FALLUJAH MAYOR AL-ALWANI: "OUR PEOPLE WANT TURKISH SOLDIERS TO COME TO IRAQ"
Taha Badawi Hamid al-Alwani, the mayor of Fallujah, an Iraqi city 50 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, yesterday said Fallujah residents would be very pleased to see Turkey sending soldiers to Iraq. Al-Alwani stated that he had explained to his constituents the contributions which Turkish soldiers could make to the region. "If foreign forces are going to come to our country, we want them to be Turkish soldiers," said the mayor. Al-Alwani also said that Turkey and Iraq shared many common ties through their shared region, faith and kinship, adding, "We're awaiting your soldiers' arrival." /Hurriyet/
HOLBROOKE: "THE BRITISH POST-OTTOMAN BORDERS FOR IRAQ WERE A MISTAKE"
The British-laid borders for Iraq set after the Ottoman era were a mistake, said Richard Holbrooke, the former US Ambassador the United Nations, on Sunday. "The country we call Iraq was created 81 years ago by Winston Churchill and others at the Cairo conference in 1922," Holbrooke told Fox News. "It never should have been created in its current international borders. The Ottomans had ruled it for 400 years as three different provinces - the Kurds, the Sunnis and the Shiites - Mosul, Baghdad and Basra. That was the right solution. The British made a mistake." Asked whether the borders should be reconsidered, Holbrooke replied, "I've thought a lot about that... I think, in 1991, the first Bush administration, working with the Turks, could have done it. ...[But] I think the moment to correct the Churchillian mistake of 1922 is passed, which means we are in a terrifically difficult problem." /Turkiye, Foxnews.com/
TERRORIST PKK/KADEK ABANDONS CEASEFIRE
The terrorist group PKK/KADEK announced yesterday that as of Monday, it had ended its five-year ceasefire, claiming that Kurds in Turkey lack adequate political and cultural rights. This summer Turkey's Parliament passes a slate of reforms including new rights for the nation's Kurds, a move soon followed by an amnesty law designed to encourage the terrorists to lay down their arms. In related news, European Union sources characterized the PKK/KADEK announcement as a sign of weakness and panic within its ranks. "The terror group's shouting in recent days is the result of panic stemming from the partial amnesty law," said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, echoing the EU sentiments, during his current visit to Vienna. /Star/
US AMBASSADOR EDELMAN: “WASHINGTON WANTS TO SEE TURKEY ON ITS SIDE”