Prime Minister Reecp Erdogan expressed anger at Turkish television commentators who were urging the government to take action and invade Iraq. He noted television programs were featuring former generals and military men who spoke in a jingoistic manner about the glory of war. “At times, I see commentators who are supposedly experts on the subject. They serve as public servants for provocation.” He noted as a prime minister he has obligations to engage in diplomatic exchanges, not talk wildly about war. Erdogan will meet with President Bush on November 5 and, “will openly tell him that we expect concrete immediate steps against the terrorists.” The Turkish prime minister says the manner in which Bush and Iraq respond to demands for neutralizing border regions to prevent terrorist attacks would be a critical test of sincerity on their part. Erdogan believes his nation is a “part of the world, and we should not forget that diplomacy has certain requirements.” He expressed willingness to engage in meaningful talks, but he also expected results will emanate from such exchanges. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party both said they would work with Iraqi and US officials to neutralize border regions and avoid violence.
Perhaps, President Bush might lean something about how a leader conducts himself in the midst of crisis. Erdogan is speaking in a tough manner, but always indicating receptiveness for discussion and dialogue with opponents. He is open to talking with various factions and does not demand preconditions for engaging in dialogue. Are you listening, Mr. Bush?