‘CLOSE DOWN THE INCIRLIK MILITARY BASE!’ CAMPAIGN IS CONTINUING IN TURKEY
The Turkish media has reported that a secret Cabinet Decree of 18 April 2005 (Decree No. 2005/8712) allows the Incirlik base to be used by “friendly and allied nations” for “logistical purposes”, including the “transport of military materials and personnel”. ‘CLOSE DOWN THE INCIRLIK MILITARY BASE!’ CAMPAIGN IS CONTINUING IN TURKEY
The Turkish media has reported that a secret Cabinet Decree of 18 April 2005 (Decree No. 2005/8712) allows the Incirlik base to be used by “friendly and allied nations” for “logistical purposes”, including the “transport of military materials and personnel”. The Decree was approved by President Sezer on 29 April, but its full contents have been kept secret.
A petition, drafted by the Global Peace and Justice Coalition and signed by the chairpersons of two trade union confederations, the Bar Association, a number of professional associations ranging from the Chamber of Architects to the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons, was submitted to the Prime Minister’s office on 11 May, demanding that the Decree be published in full.
The petition reads, in part, as follows:
“We have read, in the Cumhuriyet newspaper of 7 May 2005, that there exists a secret cabinet decree concerning logistical support to be given to the USA in Incirlik. The same newspaper report indicates that this includes logistical support for the USA to transport military materials and personnel to Iraq. The report also indicates that the details of such support are to be defined and determined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
If this report is true, our country’s relations with neighbouring countries is being put in serious jeopardy. The permission thus granted by the government to the USA effectively means taking part in the occupation of Iraq.
Again, if this report is true, it means that the government is in breach of Article 92 of the Constitution. This article provides that permission is required from the Grand National Assembly for foreign forces to be allowed onto Turkish soil. Moreover, the ‘foreign forces’ in question are in a state of war with one of Turkey’s neighbours.”
On 28 May, we organised a demonstration and press conference in Adana and at the gates of the base.
Anti-war activists traveling from Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir joined with trade unionists and local activists from the South-eastern province of Adana to organize a press conference attended by about 1000 people and called on the government to release the details of a recent agreement about the base signed with the USA and to close the base down. These are the two main demands of the “Hands Off My Neighbours! Close Incirlik Down!” campaign launched by the Global Peace and Justice Coalition.
The Global Peace and Justice Coalition press release was read out in Adana by Kaya Güvenç, former chair of the Union Chambers of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB), İsmail Hakkı Tombul, chair of the Confederation of Public Sector Employees Unions (KESK), Sami Evren, former chair of KESK.
Global Peace and Justice Coalition spokeswoman Yıldız Önen said:
“More than 100,000 Iraqis have been killed so far. Turkey has allowed US aircraft to make 4,300 sorties from the Incirlik base. We have gathered here in front of the base to ask the Minister of Defence the following questions: What link is there between these 4,300 flights and the 110,000 Iraqi dead? In what way have these flights contributed to these murders?
… This press conference is only the beginning of our campaign. We want the government to know that we have our eyes on them. Our campaign will continue until the occupation is ended, the Incirlik base is closed down and the full contents of all secret military agreements with the USA have been made public.”
The campaign calling for the closure of the Incirlik military base in South-east Turkey will continue in the forthcoming days until 19th March of 2006. After we have a demonstration in İstanbul on the 24th of September in order to act with solidarity with the anti-war protests in America, we will announce the campaign calling for the closure of the İncirlik military base. On the third aniversary of invasion of Iraq by the ocuppation forces led by America, 19th March 2006, we will end the campaign by having a big, national demonstration in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara. Untill this, we intend to have broadest, liveliest anti-war campaign ever by having street stalls, petitions demanding the closure of the base, arranging meetings in all Turkey. We also know that there are other campaigns in the world against the American military bases, like Okinawa. We express our solidarity with these campaigns.
GLOBAL PEACE AND COALİTON OF TURKEY
İstiklal Cad. No:99 Ankara Han Kat:4 Beyoğlu / İstanbul – Türkiye
Tel: +90 (212) 243 8957 -0090 5362196341