Former US president Bush stopped Turkey's involvement in Iraq War: Erdoğan
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
AA photoTurkey did not participate in the Iraq war because Iraqi Kurds did not want Turkish troops in Iraq, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said during an interview on state broadcaster TRT.
Erdoğan said then-U.S. president George W. Bush was very keen to have the Turkish army's support in Iraq in 2003, but added that Bush subsequently told him on the phone that he had abandoned efforts to secure Turkish support in the war because of the opposition of Turkish public opinion, despite the passage of a second memorandum in Parliament to join the war.
"In fact, it was our brothers in northern Iraq [Iraqi Kurds] who didn't want us there," Erdoğan said. "We don't go anywhere where they don't want us."On March 1, 2003, the Turkish Parliament rejected a draft that would have sent Turkish troops as part of the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.
When Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became prime minister he presented a memorandum to Parliament that was then accepted, which would have allowed the Turkish government to send troops to Iraq. However, the coalition forces started operations in Iraq shortly after, and Turkey ultimately did not participate.