Wednesday, March 19
Turkey to hold new vote on U.S. presence
Mike Blanchfield, The Ottawa Citizen, March 20, 2003
Military leaders prod government; country fears loss of $15B U.S. aid plan
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey -- On the eve of war with Iraq, the United States will get one more chance to open up a northern front when the Turkish parliament considers a proposal today to allow the American military on its soil or in its skies.
Turkey's cabinet held an emergency meeting yesterday and the matter is expected to come before parliament for a vote today, 18 days after the government refused to allow 62,000 U.S. troops into southeastern Turkey, near Iraq's northern border.
Despite pressure from the White House, including from President George W. Bush himself, it appeared the reluctant government had stalled the matter to the point of killing the northern front option.[...]