BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
 Friday, 27 December, 2002, 13:53 GMT
Turkey awaits UN lead on Iraq
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Erdogan says Turkey will not he hurried into a decision
The leader of the governing party in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said his country will not finalise its position on any attack on Iraq until a clear decision has been taken by the United Nations' Security Council.

Mr Erdogan said that Turkey would not be hurried into a decision on the crisis.

Both we and the government say that Turkey will not finalise its position until the UN Security Council's decision

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey, the only Muslim member of Nato, is facing intense pressure from its key ally, the United States, to provide support for a possible operation to topple Saddam Hussein's regime, which Washington accuses of possessing weapons of mass destruction.

Turkey opposes any war and would offer only reluctant support to a conflict it fears could threaten its security and wreck a fragile economic recovery.

"The report by the UN inspectors about weapons of mass destruction has not been submitted yet," Mr Erdogan said, referring to a planned Security Council meeting at the end on January when chief inspector Hans Blix is due to report on the searches.

"Until [then], I believe what is said now is no more than gossip and mere prediction."

The Turkish cabinet discussed the issue earlier this week, but there was no indication that any decision had been taken.

The Turkish National Security Council, which groups generals and elected politicians and is chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, is meeting on Friday to discuss whether to co-operate with the US.

Economic impact

Mr Erdogan spoke as American officials were in Ankara to discuss the economic impact of any military intervention in Iraq.

Two senior officials - Mark Grossman from the State Department and John Taylor from the Treasury - are having meetings with Turkish economy ministers.

Turkey wants a guarantee of compensation in the event of an American-led attack on Baghdad, reports say.

Turkey says it has lost billions of dollars since the 1991 Gulf War, as Iraq was a major trade partner before that conflict.

Privately, US officials believe that some of the Turkish claims are overblown, but if the US thought that diplomatic pressure alone would bring Turkey into line, it was mistaken, says the BBC's Ankara correspondent, Jonny Dymond.

Unconfirmed media reports say Washington has asked for use of Turkish air bases along its southern border with Iraq and ports.

Turkish officials have confirmed that a serious commitment, including the stationing of tens of thousands of US troops in the country, has been requested.


Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

04 Dec 02 | Middle East
03 Dec 02 | In Depth
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes