Ari Fleisher was a big fat lying idiot.

Ned Jackson Lovely
Mon, 10 Mar 2003 19:45:00 -0500

On Mon, Mar 10, 2003 at 02:10:10PM -0500, wrote:
> So the Turkish Parlament decides to just say 'no' to American Troops
> on Turkish soil.   A few _days_ later, they have an election (I'm not
> entirely clear if this is a district Prime Ministership, or _the_
> Prime Minister)  and elect a pro-war, pro-US PM to fix things.

You are confusing several issues. The election of Erdogan has been a foregone
conclusion for months. Gul was keeping the seat warm for Erdogan. Erdogan is
a former academic, who was barred from running for office since he publicly
performed a classic poem several years ago that is viewed as a call to 
traditional Muslim values. This is something that the rabidly secular Turkish 
military has done their best to prevent. Erdogan is the leader of the 
"Justice and Development Party", which in my readings appears to be a secular
party with strong religious leanings.

In any event, everybody swept Erdogan's party in on a massive groundswell of
discontent several months ago, replacing the traditional long-term Turkish
parties with a fresh set. It was understood that once his party was in 
power, Erdogan would have his conviction reversed, be elected in some 
little district or another, and take over as the PM.

> So maybe buyable isn't accurate.  Lets say Removable subject to a
> condition subsequent (payment later, if Parlament changes their mind).
> Nastiness indeed.

This reporting is particularly nasty, if it left any doubts in your mind that
Mr. Gul was anything more than a seat-warmer. The implication that Erdogan was
brought in to make the US happy is laughable. The much more likely reason is
that an agreement with the US was held off until Erdogan could take credit, or
until the US coughed up more aid and loan guarantees.

There have been several articles about the situation in Turkey in the Economist
over the past couple of months.

(replace fork with fork2 to email me)