Monday, 26 December 2011

Ex-Turk PM: Turkish agents responsible for arson attacks on Greece

It’s worth drawing attention to a story emanating from Turkey, from an interview given to the left-wing Birgun newspaper by that country’s former prime minister, Mesut Yilmaz, in which he admits that in the 1990s, and under the premiership of his rival Tansu Ciller, Turkish secret services were responsible for the devastating forest fires that hit Greece, particularly in Rhodes, Kos, Chios and Samos.

According to Yilmaz: ‘All [Turkish] prime ministers when they finish their term in office will inform their successors as to how certain secret funds were used.

‘I gave this information to my successor and my predecessors did the same. Erbakan, Ecevit and Demirel informed their successors about the secret funds.

‘Only Ciller didn’t share information on how secret funds were deployed during her premiership… funds that I later found out were used [to facilitate] a coup in Azerbaijan and for retaliation against Greece’s forests.’

It’s not clear what Yilmaz means when he says the forest arson was ‘retaliation’ but we assume he’s referring to Greece’s support during this period for Kurdish separatists in Turkey, which culminated in the Abdullah  Ocalan fiasco in 1999.

The reaction in Greece to Yilmaz’s admission has been, according to Ta Nea, as follows:

New Democracy’s foreign affairs spokesman, Panos Panagiotopoulos, said: ‘Yilmaz’s revelations that the Turkish “deep state” was burning Greek forests cast a dark shadow over Greek-Turkish relations.

‘The [current] Erdogan government is obliged to provide all the relevant details to Greece regarding this dark episode and offer restitution for the huge damage these fires caused.’

Panagiotopoulos also called on EU institutions to be made aware of the issue and demanded that the Turkish government gives assurances that it has ceased these types of ‘dirty’ tactics.

A statement from LAOS said that when its leader Giorgos Karatzaferis dared to suggest that Turkish agents were responsible for arson in Greece, ‘the political establishment called him an extremist… but now from the mouth of a former prime minister of Turkey we have an admission of the crime.’

Ex-foreign minister and leader of the Democratic Alliance, Dora Bakoyannis, called Yilmaz’ admission ‘shocking’ and said it creates ‘a major political issue, which the Greek government mustn't leave unexamined.’

Bakoyannis added that the Greek government should, through its foreign minister, denounce Turkey in the EU and in other international fora, and must claim compensation from Turkey for reforestation and the wider economic damage the fires caused.


Anonymous said...

If this is true, I for one am not surprised. Look at the source (or rather the perpetrator of the foul deed). From my personal research and observation, very little good should be expected concerning Turkey and its reputation regarding "governance." It lacks respectable diplomacy as well as any tangible form of prowess when it comes to substantial leadership.

My opinion is so low of this backward dominion until a genuine act of basic, mundane decency conducted by this particular state would be quite earth shattering to my overall senses. How they have managed up to the present day to be taken seriously by any reputable international government is beyond me. Turkey is not to be trusted by any civilized nation.

John Akritas said...

No, it's not surprising, HCG. It makes perfect sense. We knew it all along; just like we knew when he realised what he'd said, Yilmaz would try to invert the truth by suggesting it was Greek agents who set fire to Turkish forests. And, of course, the fires continue as does the role of Turkish secret services in facilitating illegal immigration to Greece in order to destabilise the country – another taboo subject the Greek political establishment won't broach.

Anonymous said...

What absolute scum. I knew they were responsible but shocked that they feel they can admit it in the open. They are getting bold and even more arrogant.