Theodore's World: Turkey Threatens Repercussions for U.S.

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October 12, 2007

Turkey Threatens Repercussions for U.S.

Members of the left-wing Workers' Party wave Turkish flags, while a man, second from left, holds a banner reading, "Genocide is a lie and it's an American game", as they chant slogans during a protest against the U.S. and its passing of a bill describing World War I-era killings of Armenians as genocide, Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. Despite intense lobbying by Turkish officials and opposition by U.S. President George W. Bush, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the bill by a 27-21 vote, a move likely to be considered an insult by most Turks. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)

Turkey Threatens Repercussions for US

ANKARA, Turkey (AP)

Turkey, which is a key supply route to U.S. troops in Iraq, recalled its ambassador to Washington on Thursday and warned of serious repercussions if Congress labels the killing of Armenians by Turks a century ago as genocide.

Ordered after a House committee endorsed the genocide measure, the summons of the ambassador for consultations was a further sign of the deteriorating relations between two longtime allies and the potential for new turmoil in an already troubled region.

Egeman Bagis, an aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told Turkish media that Turkey - a conduit for many of the supplies shipped to American bases in both Iraq and Afghanistan - might have to "cut logistical support to the U.S."

Analysts also have speculated the resolution could make Turkey more inclined to send troops into northern Iraq to hunt Turkish Kurd rebels, a move opposed by the U.S. because it would disrupt one of the few relatively stable and peaceful Iraqi areas.

There are steps that we will take," Turkey's prime minister told reporters, but without elaboration. It also wasn't clear if he meant his government would act immediately or wait to see what happens to the resolution in Congress.

He declined to answer questions about whether Turkey might shut down Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, a major cargo hub for U.S. and allied military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Turkey's Mediterranean port of Iskenderun is also used to ferry goods to American troops.

"You don't talk about such things, you just do them," Erdogan said.

The measure before Congress is just a nonbinding resolution without the force of law, but the debate has incensed Turkey's government.

Continued article HERE

Turkey recalls ambassador over genocide resolution

Turkey recalled its ambassador to the United States in response to a House resolution that uses the word "genocide" in reference to what it calls the Turkish massacre of Armenians during World War I, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
"Yesterday some in Congress wanted to play hardball," said Egemen Bagis, foreign policy adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "I can assure you Turkey knows how to play hardball."

Gates Expresses Concern About Resolution's Impact on U.S.-Turkey Relations

Despite appeals from President Bush and other top U.S. officials to reject the measure, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday voted 27 to 21 in favor of a nonbinding resolution that characterized the mass killings of some 1.5 million Armenians, which began in 1915, as genocide.

“This is a very sensitive subject for a close ally, an ally that is incredibly important to the United States in terms of our operations in Iraq,” Gates said during a news conference in London with British Secretary of State for Defense Desmond Browne.

Seventy percent of America’s air cargo for the war effort goes through Turkey, along with 30 percent of the fuel. Ninety-five percent of mine-resistant, ambush-protected heavy vehicles being flown into Iraq go through Turkey as well, the secretary said.

In response to the passage of yesterday’s damning resolution, Turkey has threatened to cut off its support of coalition operations in Iraq, a move that has enormous implications for American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in Iraq and must be taken seriously, Gates said.

Posted by Wild Thing at October 12, 2007 12:40 AM


... we had a blast crew resting in Turkey (Incirlik AB) during the Cold War! Good times and excellent brass shopping and oh those pistacio nuts! The green hot dogs were tough.

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at October 12, 2007 05:11 AM

Now what got up Turkey's ass?
come on, what did we do to them?
And genocide is NOT America's fault.
Like we go over there ahead of time and tell
these ruthless dictators to kill thousands if not
millions of their people just so we can go to war?
Are they out of their minds?

Posted by: Lynn at October 12, 2007 05:22 AM

This genocide happened almost 100 years ago. Why did congress even do this resolution? The Democrats in congress knew this would cause problems but they didn't care.

Turkey is a Muslim country but has been a good ally of the US and has even supported Israel. I was deployed there in 1995 and they treated us well.

Posted by: BobF at October 12, 2007 09:30 AM

I'm still pissed at Turkey for playing games and denying the US acces to Iraqs northern border before hostlities broke out. Now they want to use that border to invade Iraq and disprupt everything we've done to try and stabilize it. Screw Turkey. Screw Iran. Screw Syria. Screw Pakistan. Let's get this crap over with. It's time to pull out fat man and little boy again, shut all these assholes up and let's get back to our baseball hot dogs and apple pie without interruption.

Posted by: Billy at October 12, 2007 10:02 AM

wat got up Turkey's ass. its called ISLAMOFACISM. thier government has been leaning toward a moslem style theocracy for a while now. they are reckless, they overestimate our need for Incirlik, while we can build a base in Kurdistan. no way would i let them cross that border. they denied the 4th ID passage into n. iraq, they threaten to upset the only part of iraq that has some peace. Iran, P-stan, Turkey..all cut from the same rotten cloth. they won't need admission to the EU, if Europe don't wake to the threat moslem populations pose, in a decade they could own part of "EURABIA". EXPEL THEM FROM NATO TOO.

Posted by: Rhyno101st/lrsd at October 12, 2007 12:01 PM

BobF expesses my thoughts. So the idiot Congress is going to unnecessarily tick off a hesitant ally over incidents that occurred almost 100 years ago. Feel good politics is destroying us. It is also further endangering our troops locked in mortal combat.

Billy - the reason cited by Turkey to block the deployment of the 4th Infantry Division was the reneging of a promise by Bush 41 after Turkey supported coalition forces in Gulf War 1. I don't remember what the promise was, but it turned out to be a legitimate complaint by Turkey. It was kind of like Bush 41's promise to the Kurds if they revolted against Saddam that he would support them, then Bush left them to be massacred by Saddam.

Posted by: TomR at October 12, 2007 12:27 PM

Our congress has neither responsibility nor jurisdiction over the history. I wish my representatives were focusing on America and our problems rather than spending resources on something that was alleged to happen far away choronologically and geographically.

This idotic resolution puts us into very difficult position both pragmatically and conceptually.

Pragmatically, we lose Turkey, a key ally. Without them, it is impossible to contain Iran, Iraq or Syria. Our hands are really tied in the Middle East now with no benefit for American people. For example the cost of war on terrorism increases. Do you know how much of its value dollar lost recently because of the cost of this unnecessarily expensive war?

Theoretically, our representatives decide on history without knowing much about it. So their decision is only political not historical or scientific. I do not like people putting their noses into things they do not understand.

Another problem is of course equity. Now that we start discussing foreign atrocities in the past, are we going to stop, if ever? Killings of Azeris by Armenians, Native Americans by Spaniards, American Indians by my Grandparents, Black Americans by Whites, Liberians by European slave traders, Indians by British, Algerinas by French, Bosnians by Serbs, Korean by Japanese, Trojans by Greeks, British by Normans, Libyans by Italians, Aboriginals by Australians, Afgans by Russians, where is the end?

Yet another problem is that my representatives bring this resolution to the house floor just to increase donations from Armenians for their campaigns. I hate these dirty politics. My representatives, members of American Congress, should not be hostage to foreign supported interest groups. They should represent the majority of Americans who care more about health care, employment, education than interests of ethnic minorities.

These minorities (i.e., Armenians) should have become a part of American culture anyway. But the Armenians are more proud to be Armenian than to be American. Then they should go to Armenia rather than living here in California. I am not going to miss them.

Posted by: Rick Saworski at October 12, 2007 05:34 PM

The way the Turks are taking it can be looked at this way. If Great Britain condemned the United States for its slavery of 150 years ago, how would we feel about it? I for one would be highly pissed. Every nation has things in its past that they want to forget and having a foreign nation bring them up can stir up some tensions.

Check out the following article in the Washington Post. All 8 living former Secretaries of State signed a letter asking Pelosi not to do this as it threatens our national security. The past 3 Secretaries of Defense also sent letters to her. This would include the secretaries under Bill Clinton. Pelosi chose to ignore them and our national security in order to please some Armenians who live in her district

Posted by: BobF at October 12, 2007 09:43 PM

BobF, the thing is that the united states isn't denying what they did during slavery and to the native americans. All the history books contain hefty sections on it.

In Turkey, even MENTIONING the genocide can get you locked up in prison. In turkey they have eradicated mentions of the genocide from the textbooks - breeding a new generation of genocide deniers.

A large majority of historians already accept the truth of the genocide, however turkey has gone to great lengths to try to rewrite history.

If turkey is such an important ally, where were they in 2003 when we needed their border to open a two-front war? Turkey is only an ally with us when it is in THEIR best interest. Do you realize how much financial benefits turkey is getting from the US because they are allowing the army to use their airbase? BILLIONS of dollars.

We should not allow turkey to blackmail the US government's foreign policy - regardless of how "bad" the timing is.

If we are afraid to condemn a WWI genocide, how will we be able to condemn current (or future) genocides?

Posted by: John A. at October 13, 2007 12:32 AM

Thank you everyone for your comments and thoughts on this. And thanks Bob for the link to the article too.

I really appreciate it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 13, 2007 01:39 AM

As an American comfortably living in a European Turkish immigrant community for years, I hope that more Americans will realize that they are destroying a friendship in a part of the world where America definitely needs allies. I see nothing that shows that they "need America", and they are a proud people. It's not really what's being said, but how it is said, the way it is said, and when it is said. Relate this to your family and friend situations and hopefully more Americans will begin to see the real dangers of all this.

And imagine having to walk into your neighborhood shops with friendly Turkish people you've known for years. I expect to hear soon "What is your government doing?" I can only reply, "I don't understand it." And if bombs start falling, their families, their houses are in the middle of this taxpayer supported nonsense--and practically speaking, as a walking symbol, this middle-class American will have to flee as well, at least his neighborhood.

If you've never been out of the US, lived outside the US, please stop pretending you have a clue about the world. Leave it to people who have bothered to get on the plane.

Posted by: This is dangerous at October 13, 2007 05:39 AM

First of all, Turkish people have been dealing with terrorism of PKK, the Kurdish rebels. They have been killing innocent people. Just last week 15 Turkish soldiers were killed by the Kurdish rebels and thousands more. The US government that claims to be against terrorism is not saying anything to the Kurdish rebels. Moreover, there are arguments that they are even supporting it, since they are willing to not see what's happening.

When Turkey has decided to go to into the Iraq and deal with the Kurdish rebels, that's when all of a sudden, the US starts bringing up the genocide. It is a joke...

The genocide might have happened, but it is the Ottoman Empire, not modern Turkey that did this. So, please....

Oh, and if you are going to condemn any genocide, why not condemn the genocide that the US is doing in Iraq?

Posted by: Neri Karra at October 13, 2007 05:54 AM

"If we are afraid to condemn a WWI genocide, how will we be able to condemn current (or future) genocides?"

We don't have to comdemn anything. We need to take action on whats going on NOW! I don't give a damn what happened a century ago. According to what I read, it wasn't even Turks. It's OTTOMANS which is only 10% or less Turks and rest converted people from countries they conquered. And the whole fight is not about condemning or not. It's about the word. Turkey is NOT denying the killings, and in fact (I coulnt find the AP posting but I know there is) they opened their libraries for historians to do research and find the truth. Armania refused to cooperate. I think they wouldn't be afraid if they knew a proof of a genocide would come out. Sorry but everything out there just supports Turkey's point that killings are purely a massacre but NOT a genocide. So I am truly amazed how people we put in the house can so easily spend tax dollars and the lives of our troops for more campaign money for a bunch of Armenians. Good job!

Posted by: Anon at October 13, 2007 06:29 AM

First of all I would like to say that, we, the citizens of modern Turkiye, are sons of Ottoman Empire. It's not like that many are mentioning that Turks are not Ottomans. We are Ottomans. We just have another state and another name. That's all.

Second of all, every year, the U.S. government threatens us to accept genocide even they all know that there is no genocide happened to Armenians. Let me ask you something: What would you do if some people come to your town and start killing your people, raping your women, burning your homes while the U.S. is in war with another country and everywhere is full of chaos? You would kill them, right? This is what we had done when Armenians started betraying us. Russia and the U.K. gave them weapons, told them they would have a country in Anatolia, but to have that country, they had to kill thousands of Turks. They did. But the Ottoman government wanted to prevent murderings of innocent Armenians either and they have made a decision to make them move to Syria. They have paid for their unmoveable things and let Armenians take everything they want with them. Here you can read a real story of my grand-grandfather: During the WWI, Armenian gangs had attacked to our town (my town, Ordu/Aybasti/Pelitozu -in Black Sea-) and all of the town people, woman, children, man, old, young answered the attack. My grand-grandmother had caught one Armenian gang when he was trying to escape. Could you ever guess that they wouldn't kill him and let him live with them and make him muslim and marry with a Turkish girl? I could. Because I know my people. We always have benignity to everyone, even to our enemies.

Third of all, if there is a genocide happened, why it is being discussed in political areas but not being discussed in historical areas? Who's benefiting from it? Why Armenian historians are keeping declining to discuss it with our historians? If they can prove that a genocide had happened, lets discuss it in political area. We, the Turks, always accept the truth, no matter if its harmful to us or not. Read the following article:

Fourth of all, there are several reasons to cut the ties between the U.S. and Turkiye. PKK, a terrorist group of Kurdish rebels, are using USA labeled weapons against our soldiers. the U.S. army is doing nothing against that group in Northern Iraq. They have killed our 15 soldier last and this was the final for Turks to get angry at everyone who's supporting PKK. The people of Turkiye pressurizing the government to cut ties with everyone who is supporting PKK and let the Turk soldier enter Northern Iraq.

I am open to discuss everything and answer all questions on this, just do not use profane language and be kind. I am also sorry if I made any mistakes in your language.

Your sincerely
Demir Kağan

Posted by: Demir Kağan at October 13, 2007 01:05 PM

Turkei will teach America a lesson for threatening us , long live Ottoman rule and Atatürk , how much we help America , i hope our brothers will teach America soldiers lesson in Iraq .
We hate YOU , Jihad will happen Turkey is powerful and we will use American weapon to harm American interest.
Alah akabr all Turks hate Americans .

Posted by: hasan at October 13, 2007 09:25 PM

Please ignore the post of hasan, as he is just a stupid provokator.

Posted by: Demir Kağan at October 14, 2007 05:56 AM