From Ivan Watson and Yesim Comert, CNN: "I am disappointed and concerned that Turkey and its time-tested ties of alliance, partnership and friendship with the United States became the object of misplaced and ill-advised criticism during last night’s Republican candidates’ debate. Needless to say, the Turkey described in the debate simply does not exist," Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, Namik Tan, said in a statement Tuesday.
He also rejected the idea that Turkey receives significant sums of foreign aid from the United States.
"Indeed, Turkey is a strong and growing trading partner with the U.S. in general, and with Texas in particular, creating thousands of jobs throughout that state," Tan added. . . .
"The debate that the Republican candidate Rick Perry attended on American Fox TV turned into a scandal that contained very ugly statements about Turkey," announced TRT state television.
"Rick Perry: what an idiot," tweeted Mustafa Akyol, a columnist with the English-language Hurriyet Daily news. The Hurriyet newspaper also posted a video on its website of Perry drawing a blank in the middle of a prior debate, forgetting in mid-sentence which was the third of three government departments he would cut if elected president.
Perry’s remarks came on the same day a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman announced that a new NATO radar station, manned by Turkish and American military personnel, went online this month in the Turkish province of Malatya. The radar station is part of a controversial U.S.-led missile defense shield that both Russia and Iran have publicly opposed.
For more than 50 years, Turkey has been the only Muslim member of the NATO military alliance. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty)