Salala attack: Turkey endorses demand for US apology

Published: May 22, 2012

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani interact during a joint press conference at The Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on May 22, 2012. Erdogan arrived in Pakistan on a three-day official visit to meet with Pakistani leaders. PHOTO: AFP

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani interact during a joint press conference at The Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on May 22, 2012. Erdogan arrived in Pakistan on a three-day official visit to meet with Pakistani leaders. PHOTO: AFP Turkish prime minister says he will try to understand PML-N's perspective on the matter at hand. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Turkey on Tuesday said that it respects Pakistan’s decision on the Nato supply routes and endorses its demand for an apology from the United States over the killing of its troops at the Salala checkpost.    

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, jointly addressing a press conference with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, inked nine agreements for cooperation in diverse fields and said that the opening of the Nato supply route was the discretion of Pakistan.

“However, as a member of the Nato, Turkey believes that such issues should be resolved through mutual dialogue,” he said.

Government-opposition mediator

Erdogan, in efforts to mend ties between Pakistan’s ruling government and the opposition, decided to hold a meeting with Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday. “I will try to understand his perspective on the matter at hand.”

Reminiscing the ‘solidarity and cooperation’ which the government and the opposition had when he last visited the country four years back, Erdogan said that he wished to see the same cooperation back at home. “I never enjoyed such cooperation in Turkey.”

“If I say this ceiling is white, our opposition would say it is black. But the opposition should always be constructive to serve the common benefits of the people.”

Asked whether he was willing to play the role of a mediator between the government and opposition, Erdogan said he believed that the government and opposition need to stand united to serve the country.

He added that if the government and the opposition keep fighting among themselves, then the people of the country will suffer profoundly. “We should put the people first. The state is secondary. The purpose of the state is only to serve the people, and not anything else.”

If the parties in Pakistan demonstrate shoulder-to-shoulder politics, then Pakistan will be able to take its deserving place in the world, Erdogan hoped.

Withdrawal from Afghanistan

On Natos presence in Afghanistan, Erdogan said that even though Nato has decided to withdraw troops from the country by the end of 2014, the act might be delayed. “But I can only tell you my country’s perspective. We will withdraw troops from Afghanistan only after all other troops have been withdrawn.”

Expressing his support for Afghanistan, Erdogan said, “We won’t leave our brothers alone unless they want us to.”

He added that France has also announced withdrawing troops, but it said that if we entered the agreement together, we should terminate it together too.

Gilani said that an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led reconciliation will be supported by Pakistan. “The world should understand Pakistan’s sacrifices.”

Reader Comments (40)

  • Ali
    May 22, 2012 - 3:49PM

    Embarrassing and uncalled for. Why should a respectable leader of some other country have to deal with our petty politicians? These two liars should sort out there own problems and let Imran Khan deal with leading the country.

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  • Nand
    May 22, 2012 - 4:10PM

    Turkey is also a member of NATO.

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  • syed Imran
    May 22, 2012 - 4:11PM

    The respectable PM of Turkey should rather ask Gillani to respect the Highest Court verdict and step down on moral grounds.

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  • Spaniard
    May 22, 2012 - 4:26PM

    Bravo…He is the real leader…Our leader should be ashemd of standing in front of him

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  • May 22, 2012 - 4:31PM

    Same Turkey that is providing base to CIA/NATO backed death squads of Alqaeda against Syria.

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  • Arif
    May 22, 2012 - 4:37PM

    i hope Gilani wont request respectable Turkish PM to seek some relief from Chief Justice as well!

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  • Arindom
    May 22, 2012 - 4:40PM

    Haha! – Either the Saudis, or the Emiratis, or the Turks, some foreigner MUST interfere in domestic Pakistani politics!!

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  • THE
    May 22, 2012 - 4:55PM

    The Turkish PM should know better then to get involved in the dirty politics of this country. It’s quite frankly none of his business but I guess the history of politicians in Pakistan invites outside interference be it from our Arab friends or anyone else.

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  • elacy
    May 22, 2012 - 5:15PM

    Is he acting on request of PM? to me it seems so as the PM needs to reconcile and an arbitrator is needed.Recommend

  • May 22, 2012 - 5:18PM

    the act of this turkish p.m. is indulding in internal affairs of our country – he must remain confine to ‘foreign affair’ not ‘what to do in our house’ it seem he is another american agent.

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  • afzaalkhan
    May 22, 2012 - 5:25PM

    As much as I admire Turkish PM frankly this is uncalled for, we have shown u respect sir plz stay away from our internal affairs.

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  • waqar
    May 22, 2012 - 5:35PM

    Love turkey.when no body even wants to know WHO we are turks have always stood by our side.Great leader and a great nation to learn from.always love and respect turkey.

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  • May 22, 2012 - 5:39PM

    Anyone objecting on his statement should know that a real friend and sympethizer feels the pain when a friend is in trouble. We know that our greedy and self-centered politician do not have the capacity and foresightedness to settle their differences and a wise man like our respected guest has to inteerfere.

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  • sashayub
    May 22, 2012 - 5:50PM

    WHAT is the “issue at hand”? If i recall, during my last visit to Turkey, locals were complaining about the limitless interference of USA in Turkish affairs….seems, like Pakistan just received a postman from USA….sad, considering Turkey has a past it should be proud of, and a young generation which will take the country further on the road of progress

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  • Hunter Punter
    May 22, 2012 - 6:03PM

    Seems like a Turkeypak federation is quite possible. Turkey is indeed acting like a big brother to poor backward pakistan!

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  • kaalchakra
    May 22, 2012 - 6:08PM

    “Haha! – Either the Saudis, or the Emiratis, or the Turks, some foreigner MUST interfere in domestic Pakistani politics!!”

    That is totally uncalled for and you must apologize for such a crass remark. My friend, a great nuclear nation does not kowtow to every country. As Pakistan is the respected elder brother to Afghanistan, so are Saudi Arabia and Turkey elder brothers and fathers for Pakistan. And just as Prime Mininister Suf Pir Jilani Sahib had reported to the Turks on his visit there in 2010, and Ch sahib reiterated, Pakistan has a separate body from Turkey but not a separate soul. The two nations are one, separated by geography.

    You Indians better keep your nose out of Pakistan. Poking it into the affairs of those who want nothing to do with you seems to be your bad habit. Maan na maan, main tera mehmaan.

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  • politik
    May 22, 2012 - 6:20PM

    Just goes to show how immature our politicians are especially Nawaz Sharif

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  • Khan
    May 22, 2012 - 7:05PM

    Accusing the Turkish PM for ‘meddling’ in our internal affairs is totally absurd! The fact is that our politicians themselves don’t know how to solve domestic issues and friendly nations such as Turkey are forced by us to come and resolve our petty domestic issues. Erdogan is a very respected leader in both the West and the Muslim world and we must refrain from unnecessary criticism of him during a time in which Pakistan is being gradually isolated! If he can’t help us resolve our issues then who will?

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  • Ess
    May 22, 2012 - 7:26PM

    @Ali:
    Let the people of Pakistan make their choice for leadership, unfortunately Imran Khan supporters are all too impatient. Imran Khan can lead the country if he can manage to win.

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  • Mirza
    May 22, 2012 - 7:35PM

    The Turkish PM said :“We should put the people first. The state is secondary. The purpose of the state is only to serve the people, and not anything else.”

    What an amazing and simple truth. In Pakistan the state or country has always been before the people. The slogan of country, federation, institutions, SC, army, and ISI all come before the people. Nobody cares what the people want or decided. This is the most shameful aspect of our country that people come last.

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  • Musthaq Ahmed
    May 22, 2012 - 7:48PM

    @Ali:
    The respectable leader leads the pack that is devouring the offals thrown by US in Iraq. Arabs intensely hate this man who is as trusted ally of US . It is a pity that our Pakistani brothers look at him with such a devotion just because he heads an Islamic party that served the West as no secular Turkish leader could . Erdogan is US’s Halal way of handling us.Recommend

  • Aamir
    May 22, 2012 - 9:55PM

    ET…..Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan is well respected person, please don’t equate him with Gilani who has been convicted and quite famous for being corrup PM.

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  • From India
    May 22, 2012 - 10:54PM

    @kaalchakra:
    You need USA/China/KSA/Russia and now Turkey to mend the differences between the political parties. What a shame.

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  • yorker
    May 22, 2012 - 10:56PM

    Turkey wants Amreeka to sell drones but Sam uncle won’t sell drones to Turkey.

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  • ayesha_khan
    May 22, 2012 - 11:32PM

    It isn’ t US forces that attacked Salala it is NATO/ISAF forces. Turkey is part of NATO. So if it thinks NATO should apologize, it should rais this issue as a NATO member.

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  • Truthbetold
    May 23, 2012 - 12:11AM

    How low can this “apology tantrum” can get? Now, the establishment is recruiting other nations to beg for an apology! Do the establishment honchos realize how bad this childish behavior makes Pakistan look in the eyes of the global community? Wah, wah, wah… please apologize or I am going to cry!!

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  • ....
    May 23, 2012 - 12:29AM

    Frankly I don’t quite understand what the point of demanding an apology is. Will it bring the soldiers back from the dead? Will it give us any money? Will it finally ensure a withdrawal from the United States and NATO?

    Honestly, a few words will not make a difference, we should either ask for some real compensation or move on….

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  • May 23, 2012 - 12:42AM

    Turkish Brothers are With us! Masha Allah! Khilafat is the answer!

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  • Imran Con
    May 23, 2012 - 12:50AM

    You guys do realize another country’s official just gave you the paddle on your own soil and you took it with a smile on your face, don’t you?

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  • najam
    May 23, 2012 - 2:01AM

    he has came to resolve the issue of nato supply between zardari and nawaz. zardari wants that every one should bear the burden.

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  • antanu
    May 23, 2012 - 2:13AM

    <p>It Isa usual tradition of foreign heads to meet the leader of opposition.We in India witness this frequently. Why Pakistanis are cribbing on a nom issue?</p>Recommend

  • Hasan
    May 23, 2012 - 2:49AM

    @From India:

    At least our politicians don’t let their in-fighting result in nationwide poverty and chronic malnutrition. For all your boasts about having such a large economy, your standards of development are frankly embarrassing beyond words.

    Hasan

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  • Arindom
    May 23, 2012 - 2:53AM

    Turkey is firmly in NATO – so did Erdogan apologise?

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  • Cautious
    May 23, 2012 - 3:22AM

    Yet another classic Erdogan foreign policy blunder — he took on NATO over the missile defense plan and ended up eating crow – he embraced Iran, Libya and Syria as his best friends and had that blow up in his face – now he’s turning his attention to Pakistan. Good luck – based on his track record your going to need it.

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  • Masukomi
    May 23, 2012 - 5:09AM

    @Truthbetold: The US forces (yes, US forces behind the cover of NATO/ISAF) launched a deliberate, unprovoked attack on a Pakistani checkpost and killed 24 soldiers. Pakistan has every right to demand an apology. If Pakistan had attacked a US checkpost in Afghanistan, the US reaction would NOT have been to merely politely ask for an apology (or throw a tantrum as you ridiculously put it), it would have given a military response plus economic sanctions. Pakistan’s demand for an apology is unquestionably just and it very rightly refuses to open the NATO supply route that is so clearly hurting the Americans (hence their threats and snubs), get used to it.

    It’s time you foreigners stopped scaring Pakistanis with the bogeyman of a unfavorable global image, that will only scare the US-kotower bleeding-heart Paki liberals who would’ve definitely thrown a “tantrum” if Pakistan had attacked an American checkpost.

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  • Truthbetold
    May 23, 2012 - 8:13AM

    @Masukomi:
    I am afraid you are misunderstood the facts. Pakistani army gave cover fire to the Taliban terrorists which prompted the US to fire in retaliation. If the Pak army soldiers had not provided cover fire to the terrorists the whole thing would have never happened in the first place.

    Nevertheless, the US had indeed issued a sincere regret long ago.

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  • Surya
    May 23, 2012 - 8:48AM

    @Hasan:
    Your politician’s in-fighting breeds more terrorism than anywhere in the world and results in many deaths each day..i believe you are not embarrased by all these but the world is..read the report about UN millenium development goals reg. Pakistan before you lecture us..

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  • From India
    May 23, 2012 - 9:38AM

    @Hasan:
    Every country has poor people and yes including India. We do not invite world leaders to come and help us diffuse political wranglings. This is called being immature.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    May 23, 2012 - 10:52AM

    Please stop star gazing and living in the dreams.US’ officials are never going to do so because the beggars are always followers not the choosers.

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  • Cautious
    May 23, 2012 - 6:49PM

    If you believe the Turkish newspapers the only comment Erdogan made on the dispute between NATO/USA and Pakistan was that it was a Pakistani decision — that a long way from supporting Pakistan’s position and probably closer to “no comment” than actual support.

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