www.globalresearch.ca Centre for Research on Globalisation Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation
(Global Research Canada, 21 November 2003) The two Istanbul attacks respectively on the HSBC in the financial district and on the British Consulate were, according to media reports "timed to coincide with President George Bush's state visit to London."
The explosions were described by the Turkish press "as similar to those that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001". The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) plummeted by 7.37 percent immediately after the bombings. The stock exchange was closed down at 11 am.
The lira "slipped in thin trading". Banks ceased quotes on the Turkish interbank foreign exchange market. The Lira was defended by the Turkish Central Bank, which "provided the necessary liquidity.” The Central Bank statement was said to have "stopped a crisis in the foreign exchange market". Yet at the same time, the Central Bank decision was also conducive to a decline in Central Bank forex reserves and a massive capital outflow.
These movements on the equity and currency markets raise the following issue: Was there insider trading or foreknowledge of the attacks?
It is also worth mentioning that the attacks took place one day following the completion of the annual Turkish-US Joint Defense Group meeting (17-19 November 2003).
The Turkish delegation to this meeting was led by Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen Ilker Basbug, who met his US counterpart US Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen Peter Pace.
The mandate of the Joint Defense Group was to discuss issues pertaining inter alia to the war on terrorism.
Basbug also met Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz at a luncheon hosted by Deputy Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace. (Asia Africa Intelligence News Wire, 20 November 2003)
He later met up with Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. When the attacks occurred, Lieutenant General Basbug was still in the US. He left Washington on the 20th, after holding a press conference.
Britain's Foreign Minister Jack Straw who travelled to Istanbul on Thurday the 20th "said that it was not possible to say anything definite at the moment but the attacks bore the hallmarks of al Qaida network."
The British Consul General Roger Short, was killed by the bomb as he was entering the consulate building. Press reports confirmed that he had cancelled an appointment at the last minute and "if he had gone to his appointment, he would have been alive" (http://www.hurriyetim.com.tr/haber/0,,sid~381@nvid~338359,00.asp )
Michel Chossudovsky, 11/21/03
18th High-level Joint Defense Group Meeting To Be Held In United States
Anadolu Agency: 11/14/2003
ANKARA - The 18th meetings of Turkey-the United States High-level Joint Defense Group will be held in Williamsburg, the United States, between November 17 and 19, 2003.
Releasing a statement, the General Staff said on Friday that General Staff Deputy Chief General Ilker Basbug and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Mira Ricardel would preside the meetings.
Noting that meetings of the High-level Joint Defense Group were being held once in a year in accordance with the Defensive and Economic Cooperation Agreement signed by Turkish and U.S. governments in 1980, the General Staff said that the meetings created a significant atmosphere for Turkish and U.S. civilian and military authorities to discuss bilateral, multilateral and regional security issues and defensive cooperation.
Issues such as cooperation in NATO; international cooperation in fight against terrorism; efforts to support peace and stability in the Balkans, Mediterranean, Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East; assessments of the sides about regional developments; defensive relations of Turkey and the United States under Turkey-the United States partnership; cooperation in training; and the United States' support to Turkish defense industry are expected to top agenda of the meetings.
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