The leader of the main Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “traitor” to the country, accusing him of protecting the US interests in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
“A prime minister who protects a foreign country’s benefits instead of his own country’s [interests] cannot be the prime minister of Turkey. A man who does not protect his own country and its interests is called a traitor,” Kemal Kilicdaroglu was quoted as saying by the Turkish Hurriyet Daily
He made the comments in a CHP party meeting on Thursday in response to an agreement which, according to a US Embassy cable made public by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, the premier tentatively reached with the US in 2003 over troop deployment in Iraq.
Referring to a book titled Leakage: Prominent Turks in the WikiLeaks cables, Kilicdaroglu said that Erdogan had promised Washington that his government would open Turkish airspace and two seaports to the US.
He further added that a number of high-ranking Turkish generals, most of whom have been tried in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, blocked the plan.
However, the authenticity of the cabal is in doubt because when assessed, the cable which dated June 6, 2003 published by WikiLeaks does not contain Kilicdaroglu’s allegations. Yet, according to WikiLeaks, the published record is a partial extract of the original cable.
“The full text of the original cable is not available,” it said on top of the cable.
US-led forces invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003 over claims that Saddam Hussein’s regime was in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). However, no WMDs were ever discovered in Iraq.
According to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored, more than one million Iraqis have been killed in the US invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq since 2003.