Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit
Interview with CNN International
September 13, 2001
QUESTION: Turkey is in a peculiar position. If it is determined that the attack
had a connection to any of Turkeys neighbors, would Turkey participate
in or support major attack against them?
Answer: We would not differentiate from different terrorist groups. Whoever
inflicts terrorism on humanity, on any country should be dealt with very seriously.
So we are experienced in that respect. In the meantime we have been able to
ameliorate our problems in our region in the recent years. But here may be elements
beyond governments, so we must be on alert all the time.
QUESTION: Does that mean that Turkey would fully back any NATO effort?
ANSWER: Yes, certainly.
QUESTION: Even if it involved one of Turkeys neighbors?
ANSWER: Yes, certainly. Because terrorism has no boundaries, we dont differentiate
from different kinds of or different sources of terrorism. Terrorism is bad,
terrorism is inhuman, from whatever it comes from.
QUESTION: There are reports, for instance, that the Cabinet has discussed among
its scenarios, the worst-case scenario, involving a major US attack on Iraq?
ANSWER: We are prepared for all sorts of possibilities in that respect. As I
said in my initial remarks we have been faced with terrorism for at least two
decades. So we are quite experienced and we have recently been able to reduce
terrorism considerably in Turkey.
QUESTION: Would Turkey allow the United States to use the Incirlik airbase in
southeastern Turkey for any such response?
ANSWER: Well, I dont want to speculate on probabilities. Lets wait
and see who are responsible for the terrible terrorist attack to the US. But
of course, in principle, we will cooperate with the NATO countries, with our
allies, with any peace loving country in the region or elsewhere. We would cooperate
against terrorism from whatever source it comes from.
QUESTION: Are there any major concerns on the part of Turkey at the repercussions
that would follow if there were major attack on Iraq in terms of the trade with
ANSWER: Well, I dont want
QUESTION: In terms of a possible influx of refugees?
ANSWER: We are living in a very sensitive part of the world. We dont want
to speculate on scenarios that have not become apparent for the time being.
I dont, as I said, I dont specify any country in our struggle against
terrorism and we will certainly support fully the Article 5 of NATO Agreement.
QUESTION: Well, this attack in the US of course has a staggering human cost.
So, that also has implications for a wide variety of things, including the global
economy and Turkey is in economic crisis and the Turkish currency has dropped
even further following this attack. What is Turkey doing to deal with that,
to stop the crisis from getting worse?
ANSWER: Of course, we have realized that we will be faced with additional economic
problems while trying to deal with the economic crisis. We know that it is a
global problem also. That the rich countries or the West also had recently started
feeling problems in the economic field. But Turkey, of course Turkeys
problems will become aggravated to some degree but Im also hopeful that
we shall be able to reduce the effects of terrorism in America on Turkey. We
have full confidence in the United States. Of course it is still a very rich
country and it is a world power with international responsibilities. I am confident
that the US will be able to improve the economic condition and we have received
a guarantee from the IMF yesterday that the recent crisis will not negatively
affect the credits we expect from the IMF.
QUESTION: What specific effect do you thing this might have on the Turkish economy
and what specific measures did you take?
ANSWER: It is too early to make detailed assessments. I dont think we
have to take additional measures. Because we have been taking all the measures
that one can think of in dealing with the economic crisis. I dont think
that the negative effects on Turkish economy will be very much, we should be
able to deal with the additional problems in the short time, hopefully.