Turkey allowed US to use airbase to take suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay

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Ankara, Jan 18 (ANI): US diplomatic cables released by the whistleblower website 'Wikileaks' have revealed that Turkey had allowed the US to use its airbase at Incirlik to take suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay.

The Guardian quoted a cable dated June 8, 2006, written by the then US ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson, as saying that Turkey is a key ally in the "global war on terror" and an important logistical base for the US-led war in Iraq.

"The Turkish military had allowed us to use Incirlik as a refuelling stop for Operation Fundamental Justice detainee movement operations since 2002, but revoked this permission in February of this year. We understand OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defence) and JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) have been discussing whether to approach Turkey to seek to reverse this decision," the cable said.

"We recommend that you do not raise this issue with TGS (Turkish General Staff) pending clarification from Washington on what approach state/OSD/JCS/NSC (National Security Council) wish to take," they added.

The revelations made by Wikileaks are clearly contradictory to the comments made by the then Turkish officials on June 14, 2006, saying: "The Turkish government and state never played a part in the secret transfers ... and never will."

In a Council of Europe report, Turkey has been recently named one of the 14 nations to have tolerated the covert transporting of prisoners.

In November last year, Amnesty International's report, Open Secret, criticised EU for failing to call to account member states, including Britain, for their role in the CIA's rendition and secret detention programme. (ANI)

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