compiled by Cem Ertür
9 December 2008
Updated: 12/15/08 added another link
US-trained Iranian dissidents seek asylum in Turkey
by Sehriban Oghan, Hürriyet, 28 November 2008
Editor’s note: This is an edited and abridged version of the original news report in Turkish. The Camp Ashraf, which is mentioned in the report, is currently used as a headquarters by the The People’s Mujahedin of Iran.
In a report by the ‘Foreigners Section of General Directorate for Security’ submitted to the ‘Refugees and Undocumented Immigrants Sub-committee’ of the Parliament of Turkey, it has been alleged that Iranian dissidents are being sent to Turkey after receiving training by the US Forces in Camp Ashraf [north of Baghdad], just as in the aftermath of the first Gulf Operation [i.e. the 1991 War Against Iraq].
It is believed that the illegal entry into Turkey through Iraq of the dissidents based in Iran and Iraq with the guidance of the American military authorities and their re-exit after being legalized in Turkey, is being organized by the US Authorities. In fact statements taken from 50 or so Iranians who have claimed political asylum after being captured in this country also validate this.
The possibility that the Iranians whose numbers reach 3000-4000, coming to this country either individually or in mass to request political asylum during the period of withdrawal of the US and Coalition forces from Iraq is also under review.
It has been observed that injunctions are obtained through the European Court of Human Rights, mainly by the UN Refugee High Commission and other international NGO’s and associations, to obstruct the deportation of these foreigners who do not fit the criteria to seek political asylum and who are members of various (illegal) organizations.
It has also been noticed that after claiming political asylum in Turkey, some of the political dissidents who flee their countries which are either neighbours of Turkey or which have trade or ethnic links with Turkey, are resuming their activities, taking part in espionage operations and being used by foreign intelligence agencies whilst under the tutelage of this country. This situation is not only threatening the public law and order but also putting Turkey in a precarious position vis-a-vis its neighbours.
Convoy attacks trigger race to open new Afghan supply lines
1) Convoy attacks trigger race to open new Afghan supply lines
2) Nato and Russia agree on transit for Afghanistan (from the archive)
excerpt from Convoy attacks trigger race to open new Afghan supply lines
by Richard Norton-Taylor, Julian Borger and Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, 9 December 2008
Nato countries are scrambling for alternative routes as far afield as Belarus and Ukraine to supply their forces in Afghanistan, which are increasingly vulnerable to a resurgent Taliban, the Guardian has learned.
Four serious attacks on US and Nato supplies in Pakistan during the past month, including two in the past three days, have added to the sense of urgency to conclude pacts with former Soviet republics bordering Afghanistan to the north.
Nato is negotiating with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to allow supplies for Nato forces, including fuel, to cross borders into Afghanistan from the north. The deal, which officials said was close to being agreed, follows an agreement with Moscow this year allowing Nato supplies to be transported by rail or road through Russia.
The deal could allow more fuel for Nato forces to be transported from refineries in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Most of the 75m gallons of fuel estimated to be used by Nato forces annually in Afghanistan comes from refineries in Pakistan.
Germany and Spain, whose troops are based in more peaceful northern Afghanistan, have negotiated separate bilateral air transport agreements with Russia.
Nato officials said yesterday that the organisation is negotiating with Ukraine and Belarus for a land route which, though long, would avoid Pakistan and the pirates of the Gulf of Aden.
from the archives:
excerpt from Nato and Russia agree on transit for Afghanistan
by Thomas Escritt, Financial Times, 4 April 2008
Nato and Russia have reached an agreement on Friday to allow the transport of equipment by land across Russian territory to supply the Western alliance’s peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.
The supplies that will be permitted by the deal would range from food to non-lethal military equipment, according to a Nato official.
This falls short of the alliance’s hope that Russia would permit the transport of troops and munitions across its territory, but it is a move towards the Russian cooperation that Nato leaders sought in advance of the summit.
Nato hard at work making deals to beat the Khyber Pass convoy trap
by Jeremy Hard, Times, 13 December 2008