The Turkish government has made a fascinating turn around regarding its policy toward the current UN initiated assault on Libya. Two weeks ago Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan asked; ‘What business does NATO have in Libya?” Today, Erdogan made clear his nation’s opposition to the brutal regime of Muammar Gaddafi. “I had warned Gaddafi to respect his people’s will” and he even urged the appointment of a president for the country who enjoyed popular support. Turkey is now ready to work with NATO and the UN in order to participate with current military and diplomatic thrusts in the region.
Why the change? The Turkish government realizes there is considerable dislike of Gaddafi among those protesting in nations of the Middle East. Gaddafi represents past tyrants at a time when youth wants a more democratic future. Erdogan also understands by having Turkey join with NATO forces, it strengthens their bid for membership in the European Union.
One can only wonder if the Iraq invasion might have turned out different if Turkey had been drawn in as a member of those opposing Saddam?