posted on Mar, 22 2003 @ 09:24 PM
During the recent downtime, at least, the Turks appeared to be moving towards a more placatory stance: indeed, they denied that troops had "entered"
N. Iraq. (since they already have troops there, it is not entirely clear what this would mean).
The "overflight" issue has been affected by parliament, in Ankara, but it should be settled by now, or soon.
I think this has probably been a real nuisance and has forced the US to focus on the south when the US would have liked to attack simultaneously fron
the north thereby engaging the 50% or so of Saddam's forces that at present constitute a safe reserve for him (or his immediate successors).
On the other hand, let us not rush to condemn Turkey: they've been good NATO allies for 50+ years. And, while the licensed embezzlers of Brussels
and Strasbourg occasionally get on their high horses when the issue of Turkey's admission to the EU arises, it needs to be rembered that Turkey is a
Muslim nation (albeit strenuously secular at the constitutional level, at least). This may appear to be a mere stumbling-block but is in fact a
tightrope upon which Turkish governments must forever balance precariously.
If we recall the distasteful acrobatic displays some Western politicians not infrequently put on in order to humour or appease small Muslim
minorities among their own electorates, we might begin to appreciate the pressures Turkish administrations are under.
[Edited on 23-3-2003 by Estragon]