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"Huge" Turkish Delegation Felt Erdogan Was Pushed, Previous Run-Ins Alleged

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 26 -- As questions mount about UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon having apologized so quickly to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan even as UN security officials were hospitalized following a run in with Erdogan's delegation on Friday, another perspective emerged on Monday afternoon.

  Picking up on a line in Inner City Press' exclusive story, why lay hands on a prime minister, a source said that Erdogan and his large delegation were led the wrong way in the run up to Mahmoud Abbas' speech on Friday.

 Coming from a bilateral meeting on the 4th floor balcony of the General Assembly, the wrong path to the speech was shown to them.

Already the GA Hall was full, and Erdogan's delegation included not only the security personnel, but also five ministers and a deputy prime minister.

  The Turks were given extra passes to the UN, but some say other delegations were as well. In any event, the large delegation, having been led the wrong way, was stopped -- and Prime Minister Erdogan was jostled.

  This triggered the melee that left UN Security Office Matthew Sullivan with injured ribs, and a female Caribbean UN officer with facial injuries. The Turks also suffered injuries or impacts but, tough guys to the end, did not seek hospitalization.

  In this account, Ban Ki-moon apologized between 2 and 3 pm on Friday -- so soon after the incident that no investigation would have been possible. As UN Security officers see it, Ban Ki-moon "threw them under the bus," and didn't defend them.

"It's like Algeria," a UN Security official, referring to the UN staff killed by a bombing in Algeria. "He does nothing for us - it's all about him."

  The source confirming the apology and its timing told Inner City Press that the run by Ban's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar and Security chief Gregory Starr across First Avenue at 2:20 pm on Friday was to meet Ban at the Turkish Mission for the apology. Another Under Secretary General, Lynn Pascoe, is said to have apologized to Erdogan in the Indonesian Lounge next to the GA Hall.

Erdogan & Ban, previously, jostling & fast apology not shown

  While understanding to some degree not only the UN Security side, but also the Turkish side if Erdogan was pushed, what remains incomprehensible if not reprehensible to some is Ban Ki-moon so quickly casting the blame on the people who work for the UN.

At 2:30 on Friday it was impossible to know the specifics of how the UN Security officials got injured. Furthermore, UN Security sources now say that Erdogan's delegation had another run-in with authorities.

 They point to a previous run in at the 46th Street entrance, false passes to the UN garage, even the beating of a journalist by security at a previous Turkish sponsored conference. So what did Ban Ki-moon know and when did he know it? Watch this site.

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Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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