"Bush's warning to Turkey was stupid
By Philip Robins
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
In recently making an issue out of Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's controversial visit to Syria, which took place last week, the Bush administration seemed to hark back to the pre-1995 days when the United States was heavy-handed in its treatment of its old ally. Yet dealing with Turkey is 80 percent presentation. That is a rule the U.S. would do well to remember in the future.
The Syria visit itself was largely a nothing occasion. After all, the Turkish president's role is mainly ceremonial, as the quaint period attire of top hat and tails that officeholders don on key state occasions testifies. Sezer's main function in Damascus was to respect protocol: to return the visit made by his counterpart, Syrian President Bashar Assad, in January 2004."
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