Berlin: The US secret services used
Turkey as a base to transport "terrorism" suspects as part of
its extraordinary rendition programme, German daily Die Welt
reported today citing a WikiLeaks cable.
Some 24 CIA flights landed at Incirlik airport in
southern Turkey between 2002 and 2006 with the knowledge of
the Turkish military, according to a cable from the US embassy
in Ankara dated June 8, 2006, the paper said.
"The Turkish military has since 2002 allowed us to use
Incirlik as a refuelling stop for prisoner transport flights
from `Operation Fundamental Justice`, but revoked permission
in February this year," said the cable, referring to the
Die Welt published excerpts from the cable in German.
On June 14, 2006, a spokesman for Turkey`s foreign
ministry, Namik Tan, told reporters: "The Turkish government
and state never played a part (in the secret transfers) ...
and never will."
Turkey had just been named in a Council of Europe
report listing it among 14 European countries that colluded in
or tolerated the covert transporting of prisoners.
WikiLeaks has obtained some 250,000 US diplomatic
cables and handed them to five major news organisations: the
New York Times, Der Spiegel, the Guardian, El Pais and Le
To date, 2,444 have been published on the
whistleblowing website but the Ankara cable is not yet among
Die Welt said it had secured access to the complete
cable dump, in cooperation with Norwegian daily Aftenposten,
which is also putting them out independently.
US intelligence services used secret rendition flights
in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks to transfer "war
on terror" suspects to third countries for interrogation,
where many said they were imprisoned and tortured.