What do Turks think of Sadamm Hussein

Turks grudgingly swerve on the US line: Erdogan's ultimatum came before Saddam Hussein's turn

The leaders of the government and the military gathered hastily at the president's office, and a few minutes before the deadline, Powell received his call back: Turkey is accepting its fate and participating. Before the first bomb falls on Baghdad, the Turkish parliament is to revise its rejection of cooperation and clear the way for the stationing of US troops for the northern front against Iraq.

The Americans worked with carrot and stick to bring about this turning point in Ankara. Powell promised that if Turkey gets on board on time, all agreements that were negotiated in advance of the cancellation will remain in place: Turkey will then get the promised billions in aid, a free hand for its armed forces in northern Iraq and a say in the reorganization of Iraq after the war. But if the Turkish no were to remain, relations between the two countries would be severely damaged.

It would not have needed so much pressure to change Parliament's mind. While some MPs had believed that they could prevent the war two weeks ago when they said no to the US stationing, they have since lost those hopes. The Turks have already got a foretaste of the consequences a war waged without them would have for them. The Turkish lira temporarily fell to an all-time low, the northern Iraqi Kurds burned Turkish flags, and the Americans threatened Ankara with a confrontation in northern Iraq. In the meantime, the refugee route from northern Iraq to the Turkish border began. In the last Gulf War, Turkey took in half a million refugees; the prospect of having to do this without American help this time makes many US opponents weak.

Turkey had resisted the war to the end, declared the President's office after the top-level emergency meeting, but now the chances of a peaceful solution were apparently exhausted. Faced with this undesirable situation, Turkey must protect its national interests and act accordingly as soon as possible; the participants agreed on this. At a special session on Tuesday evening, the Turkish cabinet was supposed to approve the new resolution to deploy its own troops in the US and then bring it to parliament; the vote in the parliament should take place on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.

Another no from the representatives is unlikely. In contrast to the first attempt, the decision to deploy the station is also supported this time by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who wanted to wait until the end for a new resolution by the UN Security Council and, after the failure of these efforts, now turned to the line of government. This time the General Staff is also behind the decision, which it refused public support at the first attempt in order to make life more difficult for the unloved government. Even the opposition grudgingly wants to join in and, unlike in the first vote, forego the fact that the faction was forced to say no.