Tuesday, February 18, 2003


Like many Americans and all Turks, I am in despair right now over the Germans, the French, and the Belgians and their NATO machinations. Here are the Turks, facing Saddam Hussein across the border with his terrifying weapons. And, through no fault of their own, the Turks, members in good standing of NATO, might well end up under the most ghastly of attacks. NATO ought to be rushing to Turkey's defense, right? What can those Europeans be thinking in refusing to do any such thing?

--Paul Berman in Slate last Friday


The Turkish parliament had been expected to vote Tuesday on whether to allow tens of thousands of U.S. combat troops in Turkey, which would be necessary for a northern front in any war against Iraq.

Instead, officials gave U.S. Ambassador Robert Pearson a new proposal late Monday for a beefed-up economic aid package that would provide compensation for any losses in an Iraq war.

Top politician Recep Tayyip Erdogan said authorization for U.S. combat troops to be deployed in Turkey depended on Washington meeting Turkish demands.

"The other side must meet our demands, and if they do, we shall see. After this is finalized, the authorization will come to parliament," Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

--AP story today

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