compiled by Cem Ertür
16 March 2010
1) Israeli army chief Gabi Ashkenazi visits Turkey to hold talks on Iran’s nuclear program (15 March 2009)
from the archives:
2) Israeli army chief Dan Halutz visits Turkey to discuss the Iranian threat (December 2005)
3) Turkey agrees to Israeli exercises near Iranian borders (December 2005)
4) CIA Director Porter Goss tells Turkey to be ready for US air strikes against Iran and Syria (December 2005)
5) General Basbug: Turkey can never welcome an Iran who possesses nuclear weapons (June 2005)
6) CSIS report: Turkey would be the optimum route for a possible Israeli attack on Iran (March 2009)
7) Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul says Israeli raid a “closed matter” (November 2007)
excerpts from: Ashkenazi holds security talks in Turkey
by Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, 15 March 2010
[Israeli army chief] Gabi Ashkenazi flew to Ankara on Monday to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Gen. Ilker Basbug.
Ashkenazi also participated in a NATO terrorism conference on the sidelines where he met privately with Basbug and Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul. […]
Ashkenazi discussed regional security issues with a focus on Iran’s nuclear program as well as the rearmament of Hizbullah in southern Lebanon. […]
Ashkenazi’s trip on Monday is the first visit by an IDF [Israel Defense Forces] chief of staff since the 2005 visit by Dan Halutz. […]
“This visit is on the military-strategic level, not a diplomatic level. The Turks are not hiding it and neither are we,” [said Israel Defense Forces spokesman Avi Benayahu].
from the archives:
excerpts from: Halutz, Turkish officials discuss Iranian threat during visit
by Metehan Demir, Jerusalem Post, 23 December 2005
During a one-day working visit to Ankara [on December 22, 2005, Israeli army chief Dan] Halutz met with his Turkish counterpart Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, and discussed common concerns such as Islamist terrorism and Iran’s suspicious nuclear activities.
A briefing presented by the Turkish military laid out Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles (the Shihab 4 and 5) which could reach Turkish territory. Halutz was told that Iran causes uncertainty and risk for Turkey as well as the region. […] [T]he international community should step up pressure on Iran to give up these dangerous attempts, members of the Turkish General Staff added.
from the archives:
excerpts from: UAE daily says Turkey agrees to Israeli exercises near Iranian borders
E’temad website, 28 December 2005 (via BBC Monitoring, 29 December 2005)
According to the agreement reached by the Joint Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, Dan Halutz, and Turkish officials, Israel is to carry out various military manoeuvres in the areas that border Iran and Syria. [Dan Halutz] had gone to Turkey a few days earlier. […]
The Israeli side made the request to carry out the manoeuvres because of the difficulty of passage in the mountain terrains close to Iran’s borders in winter. […]
The [Hakkari and Bolu] units are the most important of Israel’s special military units and are charged with fighting terrorism and carrying out guerrilla warfare. Earlier Turkey had agreed to Israeli pilots being trained in the area bordering Iran.
excerpts from: CIA’s Goss reportedly warned Ankara of Iranian threat
Dunya, 13 December 2005
During his recent visit to Ankara, CIA Director Porter Goss […] asked Ankara to be ready for a possible US air operation against Iran and Syria.
Goss, who came to Ankara just after FBI Director Robert Mueller’s visit, […] Goss first told Ankara that Iran has nuclear weapons and this situation was creating a huge threat for both Turkey and other states in the region. […]
The second dossier is about Iran’s stance on terrorism. The CIA argued that Iran was supporting terrorism, the PKK and al-Qaeda.
The third had to do with Iran’s alleged stance against Ankara. Goss said that Tehran sees Turkey as an enemy and would try to ‘export its regime’.
Luncheon remarks by General Ilker Basbug, Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff
“Like other countries and especially the United States, we have been following Iran’s nuclear efforts with serious concern. Turkey can never welcome an Iran who possesses nuclear weapons. The nuclear states axis starting from North Korea, passing through Iran and extending to other possible powers in our region poses sensitivity on part of Turkey.”
[Turkey’s Deputy Chief of General Staff Ilker Basbug, speech at the American-Turkish Council’s annual conference, Washington DC, 6 June 2005. On August 2008, General Basbug became the head of Turkey’s armed forces ]
excerpts from: Study on a possible Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear development facilities
by Abdullah Toukan, Anthony H.Cordesman and Arleigh A. Burke
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 16 March 2009
“A military strike by Israel against Iranian Nuclear Facilities is possible and the optimum route would be along the Syrian-Turkish border then over a small portion of Iraq then into Iran, and back the same route. […]
If the Israeli aircraft do actually fly over Turkey that would constitute a clear Turkish – Israel and even U.S. conspiracy to attack Iran, so the Political risks could be high with Turkey.
Operationally, the risk from Syria would be low, whereas the risk from Turkey could be of medium level if Turkey deems it necessary to react militarily.”
Turkey‘s Gul says Israeli raid a “closed matter”
Reuters, 6 November 2007
“It is no easy thing to discover that combat jets from a friendly state [i.e. Israel] have penetrated your skies overnight. It is good that you apologised, even though the apology was late. As we see it, the matter is closed and we hope that it will not be repeated in the future”
[Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul, commenting on the September 2007 Israeli Air Force bombing raid on Syria through Turkey, interview with Israel’s Maariv newspaper, 6 November 2007]