WikiLeaks: Turkey Helped al-Qaeda, US Supported PKK?

WATERTOWN (AP, A.W.)—Documents expected to be leaked this month allege that Turkey allowed citizens to smuggle weapons into Iraq, and that the U.S. helped Kurdish fighters. WikiLeaks is planning to release files that show Turkey has helped al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to the London-based daily Al-Hayat. The newspaper also reported that the U.S. helped the PKK, a Kurdish rebel organization.

One of the documents, a U.S. military report, reportedly charges Turkey with failing to control its borders because Iraqi citizens residing in Turkey provided al-Qaeda with supplies to build bombs, guns, and ammunition.

A WikiLeaks administrator also told Al-Hayat that the site needs Turks to volunteer to translate documents about Turkey’s role in the war in Iraq and its bid for EU membership.

Other documents show that the U.S. has supported the PKK, which has been waging a separatist war against Turkey since 1984 and has been classified by the State Department as a terrorist organization since 1979. The U.S. military documents call the PKK “warriors for freedom and Turkish citizens,” and say that the U.S. set free arrested PKK members in Iraq. The documents also point out that U.S. forces in Iraq have given weapons to the PKK and ignored the organization’s operations inside Turkey.

On Nov. 24, the Obama Administration said it had alerted Congress and begun notifying foreign governments that WikiLeaks is preparing to release sensitive U.S. diplomatic files that could damage its relations with friends and allies across the globe.

Officials said the documents may contain everything from accounts of compromising conversations with political dissidents and friendly politicians to disclosures of activities that could result in the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from foreign postings.

U.S. diplomatic outposts around the world have begun notifying other governments that WikiLeaks may release these documents in the next few days.

“These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world.”

Crowley said the release of confidential communications about foreign governments will likely erode trust in the United States as a diplomatic partner and could cause embarrassment if the files include derogatory or critical comments about friendly foreign leaders.

“When this confidence is betrayed and ends up on the front pages of newspapers or lead stories on television or radio, it has an impact,” Crowley said.

A Pentagon spokesman, Marine Col. David Lapan, said the Pentagon has also notified Congressional committees of an expected WikiLeaks release. He said the files are believed to be State Department documents, but they could contain information about military tactics or reveal the identities of sources.

A statement on the WikiLeaks Twitter site on Nov. 24 said “the Pentagon is hyperventilating again over fears of being held to account.” Seven times as many secret documents as the 400,000 Iraq war logs WikiLeaks published in October are rumored to be released in December (for information on the Iraq war logs, see video).

In 2009, WikiLeaks won the Amnesty International human rights reporting award (New Media).

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