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    Washington Institute: Many Turks believe that the United States is not treating them with respect

    Hürriyet Haber
    09.03.2005 - 10:03 | Son Güncelleme:

    The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, one of the prominent think-tank organizations in the United States, said in a report ''many Turks believe that the United States is not treating them with respect''.

    The report, ''Changing Turkish Public Attitudes toward the United States: Premises and Prospects'' written by Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute, said that the United States should take decisive action against the PKK terrorist organization, and the Justice & Development
    Party (AK Party) government should take an active interest in combating anti- Americanism in its ranks.

    Recalling that most Turks felt slighted by the fact that Washington launched the Iraq war despite the vote in parliament against such a campaign, the report said, ''their resentment increased when U.S. troops arrested Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq on July 4th, 2003. The lack of U.S. action against the PKK, present in northern Iraq, has only exacerbated such feelings. In fact, issues related to Kurdish nationalism seem to be damaging the U.S.-Turkish relationship. If Washington does not take a step, U.S.-Turkish ties
    may remain strained.''

    According to the report, the United States should consider various measures regarding the PKK such as taking decisive action against the terrorist organization, helping Turkey capture PKK leaders in northern Iraq, convincing the EU to shut down continent-wide PKK networks, and cracking down on global PKK financial activity.

    Highlighting importance of the issue of Kirkuk, the report said, ''the Turkish people possess an inflammable sensitivity for ethnic Turks in the country's vicinity. The Turkish public will be upset if this multiethnic city of Turkmens (ethnic Turks), Christians, Kurds,
    and Arabs, which rests on nearly 40 percent of Iraq's oil deposits, is annexed into Iraq's Kurdish provinces.''

    ''Ankara will begin EU membership negotiations on October 4th. Healthy relations with Washington will be a valuable Turkish asset in these talks. Therefore, the AK Party government should take an active interest in combating anti-Americanism in its ranks,'' the report added.

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