Turkey nixes Bin Laden-like trap on PKK leader

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News – 17-10.2012 – Turkey cannot accept a suggestion by the top American envoy to Turkey to implement “tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP)” in the fight against terrorism, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted yesterday, citing legal constraints and geographical conditions that differ from Washington’s fight against al-Qaeda.

“There are so many differences [between the fight against al-Qaeda and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq]. Osama bin Laden was captured in his house, our fight against PKK is continuing in the caves of mountainous places,” Erdoğan said at a press conference late yesterday. Erdoğan’s statement came hours after Frank Ricciardone said Washington suggested the implementation of the TTPs, a multidisciplinary military organization, that paved the way for the killing of bin Laden, the architect of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

“We have made proposals to Turkey to provide more than we do. We have [offered] to share the TTPs [with them]. I will not enter into the details of our secret works with your government. But the Turkish government is carrying out its works on the basis of its laws and experiences,” Ricciardone said.

“While capturing bin Laden, our war experts, intelligence and law enforcement worked together. We could do it as a result of multidisciplinary approach. We are ready to share this experience,” he said. Erdoğan emphasized that Turkey was conducting its anti-terror fight fully on the basis of international laws. The prime minister also noted that bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, hinting that international law was violated there. Erdoğan said bilateral talks were continuing to intensify ongoing intelligence sharing mechanism and underlined the existence of the trilateral mechanism against the PKK with the participation Turkey, the U.S. and Iraq. “We can discuss what we can do under such a mechanism,” he stated.

Ricciardone expressed his disappointment with frequent references to Washington’s unwillingness in the fight against the PKK and said he felt sorry and angered by these sorts of suspicions. “This makes our enemy successful in placing suspicion between the allies. This might give hope to our enemies,” he stressed. Informing about how the intelligence sharing was working, the ambassador said they were only providing Turkey with the intelligence but it was analyzed only by Turkey. “It’s Turkey which decides how to use the intelligence,” he said.