INTERNATIONAL > CIA chief Petraeus pays surprise visit to Turkey

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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Director of the Central Intelligence Agency General David Petraeus. REUTERS photo

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency General David Petraeus. REUTERS photo

Ankara was tight-lipped concerning a reported unannounced visit to Istanbul by U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David Petraeus, while U.S. officials were little different than their Turkish counterparts in response to questions.

Petraeus arrived in Istanbul's Atatürk Airport with his private plane, according to an exclusive report by Turkish daily newspaper Akşam. The daily said the agenda of Petraeus’s talks with Turkish officials would be the Syria crisis and the anti-terror fight.

The visit was be the second unannounced visit by the CIA chief to Turkey in last six months. In March, the United States’s top spy paid an unannounced two-day visit to Ankara to discuss the deepening instability in Syria, the joint fight against terrorism, and closer cooperation on pressing regional issues “in the coming months.” On that visit, Petraeus held separate talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Turkish counterpart, MİT chief Hakan Fidan.

Contacted by the Hürriyet Daily News, both Foreign Ministry officials and Prime Ministry officials gave identical answers: “We do not have such information.” Neither denied nor confirmed the visit. 

A Turkish diplomat, speaking under customary condition of anonymity, told the Daily News that “no such meeting [with Petraeus] is on our agenda for now,” while an official from the prime minister’s office said “no such meeting is on the agenda of the prime minister, and at the moment he is planning to return to Ankara from Istanbul.” The official from the prime minister’s office noted, however, that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s time in Istanbul might be extended to night time.

Officials from the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) joined the Prime Ministry and Foreign Ministry officials, as an official from MİT neither denied nor confirmed the visit, saying: “We haven’t received information regarding such a visit.”

When approached, U.S. Embassy officials in Ankara referred Hürriyet Daily News to a public affairs officer in Washington DC who was naturally not at the office since it was weekend holiday and due to time difference between Ankara and Washington DC; and Daily News found an answer-recording machine which directed it a public affairs officer on duty. The public affairs officer on duty said: “We are not able share information due to security reasons.”


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Notice on comments

Man in the Middle

9/2/2012 10:58:02 PM

@two sides to every coin, if you think the West had nothing to do with inflaming the sectarian killings among the Muslims, then I have a ski cabin north of Riyadh to sell you. As simplistic as you sound, I'm sure you'd buy it.


9/2/2012 10:04:35 PM

What a waste of talent, you folks shoud write for Hollywood.

Ehab Shallaby

9/2/2012 7:37:15 PM

Alqaeda is CIA arm. Whenever they need to destabilize a country, they send this arm to it. Alqaeda is working and destroying only in Islamic countries. It has never done any operation in the west or Israel. All of its members are residents of western countries... Please look deeper to events of history

Shah Hamdan

9/2/2012 7:22:33 PM

History is repeating herself. Battle ground is Syria replacing Afghanistan. Turkey is replacing Pakistan. Saudi and Qataris are financing. CIA, Mosad, MI6, French and German etc intelligence agencies are providing planing. Salafi Jihadi are gathering from all over world. Refugees are crossing to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Afghans went to Iran and Pakistan aprx.6 million. End result 3 decades of war for cause of Islam which is still going on. Results readers knows well. Syria to free Sunni Bros.

Sayat Nova

9/2/2012 2:13:13 PM

David Petraeus is in Turkey to develop and arm the next generation of Taliban in the Middle East. I guess the Americans have not learned enough from the shortsighted lessons of Reagan & Bush Senior years. CIA strategists don’t seem to see past the tip of their nose!

Shah Hamdan

9/2/2012 1:09:53 PM

Rimon Tree Jihadis and Al Qaeda are production of CIA. They are attack dogs for CIA. Any Muslim country which CIA want to destabilize same Jihadis are being used. From Mali to Pakistan you can see them active and killing Muslims by calling them infidels. They carry same flag, same look out and same slogan of implementing Islam and Sharia law. A small minority of these terrorist highjack whole countries.

two sides to every coin

9/2/2012 12:13:35 PM

The west should just let the Islamic world get on with their disputes of killing each other. What the west was stupid enough to think was they could help. The Islamic world based on Sunni and Shia divides will never stop, so let them get on with it, and keep the west away from any help.

Rimon Tree

9/2/2012 11:25:35 AM

Don't meddle with CIA you will regret it! They are worse than any Jihadist could ever be!
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