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January 17, 2012

Will Romney Defend Our Turkish Allies?
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

I don't really care that Rick Perry has doubled down on his attacks on Turkey's government as "Islamic terrorists," that his top foreign policy advisor* said that Ankara's democratically-elected government "has some explaining to do," and is "extremely supportive of Hamas."  (Note: if we could only get Iran's support of Hamas to look like Turkey's, what a great place the Middle East would be. But I digress.) I sympathize with our friends the fact-checkers, who think they have better things to do than respond to this kind of, well, falsehood isn't even the word for it.

No, I care -- and the Perry campaign seems to agree -- what frontrunner Mitt Romney thinks about our Turkish allies.  Like Perry advisor Victoria Coates, I too find it surprising that Romney hasn't weighed in on the controversy.  Herewith, a guide to enterprising journalists:

What is the US Relationship with Turkey? Turkey has been a member of NATO for 60 years; Turkish troops fought alongside Americans in Afghanistan.

Does Partnership With Turkey's Avowedly Muslim Government Serve American Interests? Turkey is the leading provider of shelter and humanitarian assistance to Syrian citizens fleeing Bashar al-Assad’s murderous rule. Turkey's transition away from authoritarianism over recent decades has inspired the secular and moderate leaders of transitions in our NATO ally Albania; in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country and Muslim democracy; in the former Soviet countries of Central Asia; and now in the Middle East and North Africa.

Do Human Rights Advocates View The Turkish Regime in Apocalyptic Terms? Turkey's democracy is far from perfect, and we don't agree with all of its foreign policy choices. Review Freedom House's most recent report on Turkey, which refers to it as a "country at the crossroads" with no reference to the rule of Islamic terrorists.

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