Author`s name Olga Savka

American Administration To Punish Turkey Over Iraq

Paul Wolfowitz harshly criticized the Turkish government 

Washington demonstrated it to the whole world again - the American administration can not forgive its own diplomatic mistakes. To all appearances, this time the American administration decided to look into the matter of Turkey-based frondeurs. As it happened before, this initiative was put forward by the Pentagon. To be more precise, the instigator was Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. However, Donald Rumsfeld's deputy chose another way to go. Paul Wolfowitz did not criticize the political leadership of Turkey. As a matter of fact, there was no need to do so: the Turkish government has already had problems with America on account of the refusal to render the Turkish territory for striking Iraq.

Paul Wolfowitz attacked Turkish generals - he accused them of inaction. Making a statement for CNN-Turk channel, Wolfowitz said that the Turkish defense command did not show the determination that the USA expected from them. Wolfowitz reminded that the American administration expected Ankara to offer the Pentagon its air base for the army operation in Iraq. However, Mr. Wolfowitz said that the Turkish government announced about the cessation of the program to patrol the northern area instead, where Iraqi aviation flights were forbidden.

"But if we are going to have a new page let's have a Turkey that instead ... of saying 'Well, we don't care what the Americans' problems are with Iran and Syria, they are our neighbors,' let's have a Turkey that steps up and says, 'We made a mistake, we should have known how bad things were in Iraq, but we know now. Let's figure out how we can be as helpful as possible to the Americans,'" Wolfowitz was quoted as saying.

In other words, the American administration would like Turkey to confess its sins publicly. Well, Turkey has something to think of - it has already been deprived of multi-billion loans from the USA. In addition to that, the access for the Turkish army to northern Iraq was denied. Thus, Washington has another level to exert pressure on Ankara - Kurds. The situation is not likely to result in the destabilization of the situation in the region. Nevertheless, it is possible to frighten Turkey with an opportunity to set up an independent Kurdish state.

However, such a situation would be way too gloomy, and it would not be in the interests of the States. Of course, after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime Turkey has lost a certain part of its importance for America as an ally in the region. This role reduced when American diplomats failed to convince the Turkish government to let the US Army use Turkish bases for attacking Iraq. If the situation with Iraq developed in a different way, Turkey would have even more problems. On the other hand, it would be rather silly to refuse from the longstanding cooperation for the sake of momentary political gains. Turkey will have to pretend that it did not pay attention to Wolfowitz's statement. Turkey would then wait for Colin Powell to come to Ankara - that would be the time for the USA and Turkey to reconcile. Most likely, this will happen someday, for it has already happened with Syria. If the USA forgave Damascus, why not forgiving Ankara?

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