Turkey says Syria-bound weapons claims part of 'defamation campaign'
ANKARAThe Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesman has denied allegations of Turkey sending weapons to Syria and allowing the crossing of fighters into the war-torn country.
Stressing that Turkey’s position on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) “is clear,” spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç said the allegations were "slanderous" and part of a “defamation campaign.”
“Above all, this dark organization poses an important security threat against Turkey. All kinds of measures have been taken to fight against ISIL, including international cooperation,” he told reporters at a press conference on June 11.
He remarks came after a question regarding media reports of footage in which Turkish bus drivers explain how they carried fighters and weapons from the town of Reyhanlı in the Hatay province to Şanlıurfa’s Akçakale and crossed the border into Syria.
Bilgiç also cited a media blackout on the media reports and declined to comment on claims of Syria-bound intelligence trucks.
Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into daily Cumhuriyet over its May 29 story on Syria-bound trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), which were stopped and searched by soldiers in 2014.
The MİT trucks were stopped by a prosecutor who sought to have the gendarmerie search the vehicles in the southern Turkish province of Adana in January 2014 before they crossed into Syria. Claiming that the trucks were carrying “humanitarian aid to Turkmens” in the war-torn country, the Turkish government accused the followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in the state’s judiciary and security institutions of illegally ordering the search.