Thursday, February 20, 2003

Turkey Postpones Vote

ANKARA, Turkey - Brushing aside U.S. warnings that time is running out, Turkey's foreign minister said Thursday that a parliamentary vote on basing tens of thousands of U.S. troops for an Iraq war is unlikely before early next week.

But Yasar Yakis left open the possibility the government could decide in principle earlier and leave the final authorization for next week.

Economy Minister Ali Babacan was quoted as saying that the U.S.-Turkish dispute on the deployment could be resolved "within the coming days."

The standoff centers around a Turkish demand for billions of dollars in U.S. aid to offset losses in case of an Iraq war and comes as U.S. ships loaded with tanks and other armor awaited orders off the Turkish coast.

Warbloggers...reset your enemy...NOW!

UPDATE: Oh Jeebus, check out the Moonie spin on this. I had to read it twice to be sure that the situation hadn't changed.
Turkey moves to allow in U.S. troops

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Ankara moved Thursday to end a standoff with Washington by announcing it would send to parliament a motion to allow U.S. troops to deploy in Turkey, but U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he wanted a reply by the end of the

The Turkish move was intended to ease a crisis in relations between the two NATO allies. The bone of contention has been the terms for allowing U.S. and possibly other "coalition of the willing" forces into the country on their way to form a northern front in neighboring

The U.S. military considers a northern front would greatly expedite conduct of the widely expected war to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The Turkish constitution requires parliamentary approval for foreign troops to be allowed into the country. The parliament went home for the weekend Thursday without taking up the motion, but was expected to do so early next week, possibly Tuesday.

Powell said Thursday in Washington he expected an answer from Turkey by the end of the day on whether it had accepted the terms as negotiated.