Turkey and Its (Many) Discontents
Source Organization: Pew Research Center
Author: Brian J. Grim, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, and Richard Wike, Pew Global Attitudes Project
10/25/2007 - Earlier this month, Turkey threatened to curtail U.S. military access to Turkish bases and recalled its ambassador from Washington for consultations. These actions came in response to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee's approval of a resolution asserting that the Turkish massacre of Armenians nearly a century ago constitutes genocide. Compounding these tensions, and despite strong objections from the United States, the Turkish parliament recently authorized its government to conduct military incursions into northern Iraq in order to combat the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which uses northern Iraq as a staging area for incursions into Turkey.
Turkey is a strategic American ally. It not only serves as a bridge between East and West but also is one of the few Muslim-majority countries to have friendly relations with Israel, so these strong reactions from the Turkish government could be quite ominous. But do these actions reflect some deeper discontent among the Turkish public, or are they simply the Turkish government's response to current, and perhaps temporary, crises in the international arena?
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