HurriYet Daily 10 (Turkish newssource, “Turkish PM Erdoğan asks for more than ‘intelligence sharing’”, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-asks-more-than-8216intelligence-sharing8217-2010-06-28) BAF
An anti-terror mechanism set up between Turkey, Iraq and the United States should include functions other than “intelligence sharing,” according Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “This is being negotiated within the trilateral mechanism. I think that the steps to be taken in this regard will be implemented,” Erdoğan told reporters at a press conference before his departure from Torontoearly Monday where he attended a G-20 summit and held a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. The issues Erdoğan and Obama focused on were the joint fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, the disagreement over Iran sanctions and the ongoing dispute between Turkey and Israel. Erdoğan said he mentioned the PKK’s recently launched terror campaign and asked Obama to enlarge their ongoing cooperation. The U.S. has been providing Turkey with actionable intelligence since late 2007 and initiated the establishment of what they call the trilateral mechanism – a broad cooperative measure between Turkey, Iraq and the U.S. intended to restrict the movement of terror agents in the region. However Turks seem unsatisfied with its function, a feeling Erdoğan voiced after his meeting with Obama.
US-Turkey Relations Good (Afghanistan Stability)
US-Turkey relations key to Afghanistan stability
Erman 10 (Aydemir, Turkey’s special coordinator for Afghanistan, Christian Science Monitor, How Turkey can help NATO in Afghanistan, http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0209/How-Turkey-can-help-NATO-in-Afghanistan)
At the recent London Conference on Afghanistan, the United States, its NATO allies, and Afghanistan’s regional neighbors agreed to more closely align civilian and military efforts to stabilize that nation so foreign forces can withdraw and local Afghan forces can take over security. Skip to next paragraph Related Stories On the civilian side, a new emphasis was placed on the key importance of building up Afghan institutions that can attract the allegiance of those who now stand with the Taliban. As a historically trusted friend of the Afghan people, Turkey, alone among members of the NATO alliance, has a “soft power” ingredient in its arsenal that is key to winning the hearts and minds of the population. It is said in Afghanistan that “no Afghan was ever killed by a Turkish bullet” and “no Afghan trained by Turks has ever betrayed his country.” Turks have aided the Afghan government and its people since the days of Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, the “Iron Amir” who unified the country during his reign from 1880 to 1901 and embarked on a path of modernization. Afghanistan was the second country to recognize modern Turkey in 1921 after the USSR. Modern Turkey was instrumental in establishing the military academy, medical school, Kabul University and its faculty of political sciences, the music conservatory, and the public health service of Afghanistan. Good relations between Turks and Afghans are based on three factors: First, we do not share a common border and thus have no disputes on that score. Second, as a young republic that was a successor to a great empire, Turkey never displayed any imperial overtones as it embraced the young Afghan nation, which had suffered at the hands of the British and Russian empires, after independence. Undergoing its own process of modernization at the time, Turkey treated Afghanistan as an absolute equal. We never had a special agenda and had relations with all elements of the Afghan nation. Third, we share the religion of Islam. Unlike many other members of the international community, Turkey did not neglect Afghanistan in the years preceding 9/11 but was silently active. In my contacts with the Taliban during those years as Turkey’s special coordinator for Afghanistan, we pulled no punches. I explicitly told the Taliban leaders that we would not extend recognition to their regime. Turkey recognized the rump government of President Barhanuddin Rabbani that remained in only a small part of Afghanistan, mainly Badakshan Province and the Panshir Valley, until he was replaced by Hamid Karzai after the Taliban were driven from power by the US after 9/11. We openly criticized the Taliban’s lack of governing capacity, their profiteering from the opium trade, their support for terror organizations like Al Qaeda, and their treatment of their own people. Despite all this criticism, the Taliban nonetheless gave my colleagues and me free access to travel the country. I was always respected, and we were able to perform humanitarian work all over the Taliban-controlled parts of Afghanistan. I was told on several occasions by the Taliban leaders that as much as they may scorn my remarks, as a Turk I was welcomed. Shaped by our historical relationship with all parts of Afghan society, Turkey’s involvement there since 9/11 has quite consciously been a matter of “soft power projection.” As a NATO ally true to its obligations, Turkey sent troops to Afghanistan after 9/11 on the condition that they would not take part in combat operations. Despite pressure from allies, Turkey sticks strictly to this policy. Our presence in Afghanistan, both military and civilian, has been based on treating people with respect and as equals, not with paternalism or the imperial arrogance of an occupying power. Turkish troops deployed to Kabul have been under strict orders to treat Afghans with dignity. They have not broken into homes. Most patrols are conducted on foot and not in armored carriers. Troops wear no sunglasses in order to maintain eye contact. Touching women is totally taboo. Medical personnel serve Afghan people as well as their own forces. Turkish troops have thus not only contributed to the security of Kabul but became an unobtrusive part of Afghan daily life. In the critical province of Wardak, Turkey today is also operating the only civilian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team.Generally, PRTs are operated by NATO soldiers. Since 2006, the Turkish government has spent $20 million in the province funding a police training academy, building schools, restoring a mosque, and setting up a medical clinic. Halim Fedai, the governor of Wardak Province, has said: “The Turkish programs are very well received and readily accepted by Afghans because they work within Afghan culture. They are sensitive to Afghan values. We have very good, strong, historical relationships with Turkey.” Clearly, the crescent and star have once again proved as reliable a trademark in Afghanistan today as in the past. Because of this success, the Turkish government will soon set up another PRT elsewhere in Afghanistan. The Turkish lesson in Afghanistan is clear: Winning hearts and minds requires better understanding and respect for local values. Handing out cans of soda with colonial airs won’t yield tangible results. For many of these same reasons – our historical relationships in the region and deep understanding of local values and cultures – Turkey may be one of the few countries, if not the only country, that can bring Afghanistan and Pakistan together to sort out their differences. President Karzai made a point at the London Conference of stressing Turkey’s mediating role, following upon the “trilateral” Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan meeting he had earlier attended in January in Istanbul with Pakistani President Asif Zardari. Unfortunately, India’s absence so far in this process has weakened the Turkish initiative. It is critical to get them on board because the Afghan problem cannot be solved unless India and Pakistan come to terms over their interests in Afghanistan. The international community in general, and the allies in particular, should lend their support to Turkey. Turkey’s NATO membership and historical soft-power capacity can make a critical difference in Afghanistan.