Texas Gov. Rick Perry is causing a diplomatic flap because he told the crowd at the debate the other night that Turkey is run by “Islamic terrorists.”
In response to a question about whether or not Turkey should still be a part of NATO, Rick Perry suggested some consider the country to be ruled by “Islamic terrorists.”
“Obviously when you have a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists,” Perry said during the debate.
Victoria Coates, foreign policy advisor to Perry, further explained the governor’s remarks, saying that some view the leaders of Turkey as Islamic terrorists due to their support of Hamas and the flotilla against Israel.
Nice try. I think Mr. Perry said that because he doesn’t know anything about Turkey other than he probably shot one at his ranch in Texas and they’re good with cranberry sauce.
Turkey — the country and one of NATO’s oldest members — was not pleased.
Some members of the Turkish press managed to brush the statement off in a sentence. Hurriyet Daily News columnist Mustafa Akyol tweeted: “Rick Perry: What an idiot”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s statement was a little more scathing: “It is expected of people aiming for a responsible position like the United States presidency to know more about the world and to be careful about what they say,” the statement read.
“Turkey became a member of NATO when the governor was 2 years old and has been among the front line countries in the fight against terrorism, ” Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal noted.
At any rate, I think Mr. Perry’s time is up. He’s not doing so well in the race anyway; he’s running third…in Texas.