July 5, 2003 at 12:34 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, July 5 (UPI) -- Turkish officials Saturday are protesting the detention of 11 of its soldiers by U.S. forces in Iraq.

Ankara protested the unusual Friday incident and asked for the immediate release of the Turkish soldiers.

"Such an act coming from a 50-year-old ally has shocked and deeply hurt us," said deputy Chief of General Staff, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit.

The reason for the raid was said to be an allegation that the Turks were preparing an assassination against a Kurdish governor in Iraq.

Some 100 U.S. soldiers entered the building used by Turkey as a base for its special unit that is kept on watch for any subversive activities of Kurdish terrorists, a major Turkish preoccupation along the border.

Friday night Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul phoned his American counterpart, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell who assured Turkey of the safety of the soldiers, he said.

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