Some 24 CIA flights landed at Incirlik airport in southern Turkey between 2002 and 2006 with the knowledge of the Turkish military, according to a cable from the US embassy in Ankara dated June 8, 2006, the German daily Die Welt reported on Monday.
"The Turkish military has since 2002 allowed us to use Incirlik as a refuelling stop for prisoner transport flights from 'Operation Fundamental Justice', but revoked permission in February this year," said the cable, referring to the rendition programme. Die Welt published excerpts from the cable in German.
On June 14, 2006, a spokesman for Turkey's foreign ministry, Namik Tan, told reporters: "The Turkish government and state never played a part (in the secret transfers) ... and never will."
Turkey had just been named in a Council of Europe report listing it among 14 European countries that colluded in or tolerated the covert transporting of prisoners.
WikiLeaks has obtained some 250,000 US diplomatic cables and handed them to five major news organisations: the New York Times, Der Spiegel, the Guardian, El Pais and Le Monde.
To date, 2,444 have been published on the whistleblowing website but the Ankara cable is not yet among them.
Die Welt said it had secured access to the complete cable dump, in cooperation with Norwegian daily Aftenposten, which is also putting them out independently.