Kissinger calls for cooperation with US, Ritz-Carlton confirmed Bilderberg location
Turkish Daily News | June 1, 2007
While guests at the super-secretive Bilderberg meeting in Istanbul started to settle in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is among the guests, called on the international community to cooperate with the U.S. to end the civil war in Iraq at a conference organized by Turkish banking giant Akbank yesterday.
Delivering a speech at the conference called “Global Developments and Turkey: Taking Lessons from the Past, Understanding the Future,” Kissinger called for the neighbors of Iraq along with the permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, Egypt, Pakistan and India to create “an international outline for quieting the civil war in Iraq and permit Iraqis to determine their own destiny.”
An immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would spread the crisis to neighboring countries including India with its large Muslim population, Kissinger claimed. “Turkey is in a position to make an important contribution for shaping what I mentioned above,” he added. Saying that Turkey's being part of the European system has an extremely strategic importance.
Acknowledging that the proliferation of nuclear weapons was ignored in the past, Kissinger said that the urgent issue today was to stop North Korea and Iran developing nuclear weapons, “rather than waiting for the U.S. to make sacrifices.”
As Kissinger spoke, preparations for the Bilderberg gathering were going on at the Ritz Carlton, with heightened security in the vicinity. The police put up metal barriers around the hotel making sure no one gets close and a group of policemen were waiting in front of the Besiktas Inönü Stadium close to the hotel.
No one in the area seemed to know what was going on inside the Ritz Carlton.
A waiter from a nearby café, who refused to give his name, said he knew nothing about the meeting. A seasonal worker from Tokat, a central Anatolian city, working in the reconstruction of pavements just across the hotel said, “businessmen were inside.”
“They came yesterday,” said 44-year old Hüsamettin Çiftçi. “I do not think that they will talk politics.”
A group of taxi drivers were sitting at the tables of a tea stall in front of the Inönü Stadium, waiting for passengers. They said that something was happening in the area. A steamy debate started after they learned that senior guests from all over the world were at the hotel. Laughter mixed with comparisons on the HABITAT Istanbul meeting – The United Nations Conference on Human Settlements. “They did not pay the price for the IETT land either,” said one driver, referring to the latest controversy over the land acquisition of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh al-Makhtoum.
It was like a National Security Council (MGK) meeting, Ismail Çevik, a driver said. The comment triggered another debate on elections, leading Çevik to ask: “Who will vote for the [governing] Justice and Development Party (AKP)?” Some of the drivers said they were happy with the AKP's policies, while some stayed silent.
The United States “has its finger in the [Bilderberg] meeting,” Çevik continued.
“They are the gendarmerie of the world,” Seyfettin Yüksel added. The secrecy of the meeting did not seem to disturb him. Çevik, however, did not think the same. “Any possibility comes to my mind, when it is confidential,” he said.
“They are not going to destroy Turkey, are they?” a fourth driver asked, declining to give his name. The Bilderberg participants “might be deciding on who the next president of Turkey will be,” he said.
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