We apologize for the lack of updates recently.  With Whitney in Dili for a while, there hasn't been much going on.  Plus, she has the camera with some of the pictures I would have wanted to use.  Anyway, we'll have a post on Ayutthayah soon enough.  In the meantime, Rick Perry proved again that he's in way over his head just by opening his mouth.

You may remember the last time that Rick Perry showed he didn't know what diplomats do or how foreign policy is enacted.  Back in November, he said something along the lines of career US Diplomats not looking out for the country's best interests. At the most recent debate, Rick Perry basically said that Turkey is run by "Islamic terrorists" and that we should zero out their foreign aid.  Besides being wrong on just about every aspect of his assertion, Perry angered an important US ally in a crucial region of the world.  Most comical is that Turkey hasn't received US Foreign Assistance since the 1980s.  "Oops."

Anyway, here is the Turkish Ambassador's response to this nonsense, courtesy of TPM:

“I am disappointed and concerned that Turkey and its time-tested ties of alliance, partnership and friendship with the United States became the object of misplaced and ill-advised criticism during last night’s Republican candidates’ debate. Needless to say, the Turkey described in the debate simply does not exist. 
“Turkey is a secular democracy that has for decades been an essential and trusted partner of the U.S. Our bilateral relations are based on the common values of democracy and respect for human rights, rule of law, and free market economy. Whether in the fight against terrorism or violent extremism, in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria or against the proliferation of WMD, we stand side by side to tackle the many common threats and challenges of our times. Through NATO and bilaterally, Turkey and the U.S. will continue to cooperate day in day out to establish peace, security and prosperity around the world. Contrary to statements during the debate, Turkey receives no significant sums of foreign aid dollars from the U.S. Indeed, Turkey is a strong and growing trading partner with the U.S. in general, and with Texas in particular creating thousands of jobs throughout that state.
“Turkey is obviously not the same country that Governor Perry visited in the 1970s. As an accession country to the European Union and a founding member of the Council of Europe, Turkey has been continuously reviewing and enhancing the rights of all its citizens irrespective of their ethnic or religious background. Moreover, Turkey is now the 16th largest economy in the world, and the 6th biggest economy in Europe enjoying one of the most robust growth rates in its region and beyond. Its democratic standards, its economic strength, and its secular nature make Turkey an inspiration at a time when the Middle East and North Africa are undergoing a major transformation.
“While it was unfortunate, we do hope this episode in last night’s debate leads to a better informed foreign policy discussion among the Republican Party candidates, one where long-standing allies are treated with respect not disdain.”

Makes me wonder who made the Ambassador watch the GOP debate.


  1. I remember when I was in Turkey how much stress was placed during the tours on their democracy...sure there are a lot of Muslims in the country, but I guess to some people that automatically make you a terrorist. The fact that Turkey has a secular government is great source of pride for them.

    I wish all these politicians would STFU about things they know nothing about. And that would certainly reduce the amount of topics available for conversation.


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