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BorderWatch:Turkey
ON THE BRINK?
Turkish Military Waiting for 'Actionable' Intel
Suspicion Remains Over American Sincerity in Fight Against PKK
11/09/2007 11:19 AM ET
Turkish soldiers patrol a road near the Turkey-Iraq border in the province of Sirnak, southeast Turkey, 08 November 2007.
Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP/Getty
Turkish soldiers patrol a road near the Turkey-Iraq border in the province of Sirnak, southeast Turkey, 08 November 2007.

The Turkish military is withholding judgment on the progress made during the Bush-Erdoğan summit until the United States demonstrates the sincerity of its verbal commitments, particularly regarding intelligence sharing, Turkish media reported on Friday.

The promises made by the American leadership and the agreement between President Bush and Prime Minister Erdoğan are being evaluated by the Turkish General Staff Headquarters, but the New Anatolian reports the summit did not "fully satisfy" the military leadership.

The US has had a limited intelligence sharing agreement with Turkey for some time, but has now pledged to upgrade the quality of the product it provides, giving Turkey "actionable" intelligence--real-time information that can be used for targeting military operations.

The Turkish military appears to be withholding judgment until the quality of information the United States shares is verified, and will not be pleased if the intel is not useful for operational purposes.

Lt. Gen. Carter Ham, director of operations at the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday that work had already begun to open up the flow of intel to Turkey, but that technical aspects of the deal still had to be worked through.

"We are undertaking U.S. European Command with our Turkish counterparts to make sure that we have got all of the technical connections, if you will, to provide the intelligence that can be shared with the Turks in this matter," he said.

"It's partly mechanical to make sure that feeds from various sources can be provided to them. So those are, I think, real and substantive matters that are being undertaken to meet the president's stated objective of real-time, accurate intelligence shared with the Turks," Ham said.

If the US follows through with real-time, accurate intelligence, it will be used to pinpoint PKK camps in the border area for hit-and-run raids. The aim will be to hit the PKK terrorist camps in the Shivi, Mezi, Karyederi and Hakkurk and make them unusable for logistic purposes.

Regardless of the new intelligence-sharing deal, the Turkish military seems to have high expectations for an American contribution to the fight against the PKK, which goes far beyond any commitments made during the Bush-Erdoğan summit.

According to the New Anatolian, military sources listed the following points as tests for American sincerity:

- The hand over of about for to five PKK terrorist leaders who were on the wanted list given to the Americans in the past.

- Severing the logistic links of the PKK. The military wants the Americans to provide a detailed explanation on how the U.S. arms used by PKK found their way to the terrorist organization.

- Measures to be taken to prevent the PKK from running a narcotics smuggling ring.

-The closure of all the political entities and so-called NGOs that have links with the PKK in northern Iraq.

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