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Perry draws Turkey's ire for suggesting 'nation is run by Islamic terrorists'

Ankara, Wed, 18 Jan 2012 ANI

Ankara, Jan 18 (ANI): US Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry has drawn criticism from Turkey after suggesting that the Middle Eastern nation and longtime NATO ally is run by "Islamic terrorists."


During an television interview, Perry suggested that all US foreign aid to Turkey should be cut off, and that the nation should be kicked out of NATO.


"Well, obviously when you have a country that is being ruled by, what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists, when you start seeing that type of activity against their own citizens, then yes," Perry said


"Not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong to be in NATO, but it's time for the United States, when we look at their foreign aid, to go to zero with it," Perry added.


Turkey's ambassador to the US, Namik Tan, released a statement expressing his disappointment over Perry's criticism, calling it "misplaced" and "ill-advised," The Los Angeles Times reports.


"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 US," the paper quoted Tan, as saying.


"Whether in the fight against terrorism or violent extremism, in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria or against the proliferation of [weapons of mass destruction] we stand side by side to tackle the many common threats and challenges of our times," he said.


"Through NATO and bilaterally, Turkey and the US will continue to cooperate day in, day out to establish peace, security and prosperity around the world," he added.


Tan also said that Turkey's economy doesn't need aid from the United States and in fact has helped create "thousands of jobs" in Perry's home state of Texas through trade. (ANI)


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