Skip to comments.Turkey defies allies over new NATO chief
Posted on 04/04/2009 5:23:49 AM PDT by a_Turk
STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Turkey blocked Europe's candidate to head NATO, souring a summit marking the military alliance's 60th anniversary and opening a new rift between Ankara and its Western European allies.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen had emerged as the front-runner to replace the outgoing NATO secretary-general but Turkey objected on Friday, criticising his handling of a row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that offended Muslims.
U.S. President Barack Obama, making his first overseas tour since taking office in January, had signalled to Europe that he would support Rasmussen.
NATO officials put a brave face on the deadlock and said talks would continue on Saturday, the second and last day of the summit that is co-hosted by France and Germany.
"We don't have consensus yet," NATO spokesman James Appathurai told a news conference, adding: "We will get there. This alliance always gets there."
The leaders had hoped to reach a decision on Friday, clearing the way for detailed discussions on Saturday over Afghanistan with Obama promoting his new Afghan strategy and keen for Europe to do more to bolster the war effort.
Hundreds of anti-NATO protesters, who have vowed to disrupt Saturday's meeting after two days of often violent clashes, challenged tight security surrounding the summit before dawn.
A Reuters cameraman said police fired tear gas towards at least one group of protesters on the outskirts of Strasbourg.
"We are going in many different groups so it is less easy to block us," said protesters' spokesman Christoph Kleine.
On Friday, police fired hundreds of rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets in street clashes with protesters.
OBAMA CHARM OFFENSIVE
In sharp contrast, Obama was mobbed by cheering crowds in both France and Germany on Friday, underlining his popularity in Europe which had never warmed to his predecessor George W. Bush.
Obama told an enthusiastic audience of French and German youths that America was changing, but said Europe was more threatened by al Qaeda than the United States because it was closer to the conflict zones.
He said European nations should do more to help in the fight against Islamist militants in the Afghan war, which risks slipping from NATO's control more than 7 years after U.S-backed forces toppled the Taliban from power.
"Europe should not simply expect the United States to shoulder that burden alone," he said, looking to get NATO to back his new Afghan plan which includes sending thousands more troops into the war zone over the coming months.
However, the dispute over the NATO chief risks destroying any pretence of unity in the alliance, which was created soon after World War Two to defend Europe's borders and has continued to expand after the demise of its first foe, the Soviet Union.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had openly endorsed Rasmussen and sounded confident a deal would be swiftly reached, but she appeared to misjudge Turkey, which argued that the Dane would undermine NATO's reputation in the Muslim world.
"We ask why we got stuck on a single name. Let's look for new alternatives ... This has nothing to do with Rasmussen personally. We just don't want NATO to get harmed," said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
The dispute could have serious ramifications for Ankara's tortuous bid to join the European Union.
Negotiations over EU membership are blocked at a number of levels and neither Germany nor France, the traditional engines driving the union, are likely to promote the talks if Ankara persists in blocking their favoured NATO candidate.
And we at fr would be fools if we were to believe that his supporters were unaware of the position they put Turkey in. Makes me think of the old joke "If Russia attacked Turkey from the rear, would Greece help?"
Wiki: Denmark hosts Roj TV is an international Kurdish satellite television station broadcasting programmes in the Kurmanci, Sorani, Zazaki, and Hewrami dialects of the Kurdish language as well as Persian, Arabic, Aramaic, Turkish and English.
The Turkish Government claims the channel is a mouthpiece for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whom they regard as a terrorist organization, (as do the UK, U.S. and EU), and have lobbied the Danish government (so far unsuccessfully) to revoke Roj TV's broadcasting license. A Turkish Foreign Ministry official stated: "We know for sure that Roj TV is part of the PKK, a terrorist organization... [The PKK] is listed as a terrorist organization by the EU. Denmark is a member of the EU, and we would expect that the broadcasting organization of a terrorist group would not be given a free pass." "Manouchehr Tahsili Zonoozi, a Kurd from Iran who is the station's general manager, acknowledges that the station maintains contact with the PKK, but insists it is not controlled by it." The Turkish authorities have repeadedly made formal complaints to The Danish Radio and Television council regarding ROJ TV but to date none of the complaints to the have been upheld by the board who have ruled that the TV channel has not violated Danish law ..
Isn’t Obama in Turkey right now?
Not, "in Turkey", "is Turkey".
I heard there were plans for a visit but never saw a definite date.
Not “is Turkey” but “a turkey”...
The Turks voted for him.
Fogh Rasmussen too liberal?
As opposed to the national islamist Erdogan?
There is a terror organization broadcasting out of his country. HELLOOO!
And when is the last time you saw anti Jesus cartoons in some arab or Turkish paper. Sure there are the occasional a**holes burning down houses in Germany with Turks in them or killing a priest in Turkey, but when was the last time? Why shouldn’t Erdogan use that as political ammo, he’s a politician after all. People do it all the time.
Yes, if Rasmussen allows a terror organization to broadcast out of his country and claims it’s for free speach, then he’s too liberal.
While Erdogan is trying to score points with Arab states by attacking Israel.... yeah right. Take your meds, boy!
I guess we have a deal:
Turkey said Obama was essential to negotiations that overcame its objections to Fogh Rasmussen and ended with all 28 NATO leaders unanimously approving the Danish Prime Minister as the new civilian leader of the alliance.
Turkeys Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his governments requests had included the closure of a Kurdish satellite television broadcaster based in Denmark; the establishment of contacts between NATO and Islamic countries; appointment of a Turk as an aide to Fogh Rasmussen and senior NATO command positions for Turkish generals.
I guess we are looking at a compromise.
Get me right.
I love Turkey.
Got several Turkish friends.
But, they are Kemalists.
I hate what Erdogan is doing.
Good luck Turkey.
Choose the path.
>> Take your meds, boy!
All (men) are created equal, right? boy? see if we can agree on some basics.
Erdogan is the result of Kemailst ideology improved by the EU over 40 years.
Turkey is a paranoid state-—they live with ghosts and they need to expiate.
And Haghia Sophia should be reopened and reconsecrated as a Church after being defiled so long. Most faiths have their holy places but not Orthodox Christianity.
> Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen had emerged as the front-runner to replace the outgoing NATO secretary-general but Turkey objected on Friday, criticising his handling of a row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that offended Muslims. U.S. President Barack Obama, making his first overseas tour since taking office in January, had signalled to Europe that he would support Rasmussen.
Turkey warns of terror wave if EU membership is rejected
EU Observer | Dec 13 2004 | Lisbeth Kirk
Posted on 12/15/2004 1:10:42 AM EST by SunkenCiv
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