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Republican presidential candidateTexas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate. AP photo

Republican presidential candidateTexas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate. AP photo

Texas governor and U.S. presidential hopeful Rick Perry suggested it might be time to kick Turkey out of NATO, calling the country's leaders "Islamic terrorists." 

Perry made the remarks during Fox News' South Carolina debate, website Mediaite.com reported yesterday.  

Moderator Bret Baier reportedly mentioned Turkey's ruling "Islamist" Justice and Development Party (AKP) and outlined the increasing murder rates of women, declining press freedom in the country and deteriorating relations with Israel and Greek Cyprus since the AKP came to power and asked Perry if he believed Turkey still belonged in NATO.

“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 ... 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 said, adding that Turkey "moved far away from the country it once was in the 1970s," when Perry was stationed in Turkey as a pilot.  

The report said Perry's response "might surprise many" and mentioned Turkey's longstanding alliance with the U.S. in NATO, citing an article from the Washington Post that defined Turkey as "a critical diplomatic partner engaged in a working relationship that is one of the most important but least discussed developments shaping [2011’s] change in the Arab world.”

Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns Perry's remarks

The Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement that "condemned" the remarks of the U.S. Republican presidential candidate.

"It is expected of people aiming for a responsible position like the United States presidency to know more about the world and to be careful about what they say," the statement read. "Turkey became a member of NATO when the governor was 2 years old. Turkey is an important member who has contributed immensely to the Transatlantic Organization's struggle and shall remain as one."

The statement also described the Turkish political leadership as "globally respected."

"It's been shown by the low support he received ahead of the presidential race that Perry's unfortunate remarks are not taken on by the Republican voters," the statement ended by saying. "The United States has no time to lose for names who fail its allies."  


January/17/2012

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Tomas Giovanni

2/7/2012 4:41:21 PM

@Denise, if not Fox you must be into MNBC or CNN more like the left thinking you are perceived to be.

Denise D

1/23/2012 2:54:31 AM

Sorry about Mr. Perry's comments. Most Americans don't feel this way. I don't watch Fox New. It caters to the dumb and hateful.

Sue Coon

1/19/2012 4:05:30 PM

I am an American and I am ashamed of Mr. Perry's comments. While, in my opinion, what he said was wrong on all levels, I am glad that people have the right to speak, even the idiots.

mara mcglothin

1/18/2012 10:52:54 PM

Islamic? Yes Terrorists? No He does tend to bluster like turkish politicians. I wonder if the esttemed PM will sue?

The Prisoner

1/18/2012 11:31:45 AM

Obviously Perry went to the same school for diplomacy as heads of AKP. The guy is only expressing what a lot of people think here and abroad.

ipek rudd

1/17/2012 10:47:52 PM

One more thing, when calling Bush a moron, remember his administration was the only thing stopping US House resolution on Armanian Genocide.

ipek rudd

1/17/2012 9:56:25 PM

been working towards. BTW, I think it's interesting how the above comments insult Perry instead of mearly disagreeing with him. How progressive of you...

Sean Tracy

1/17/2012 9:56:12 PM

The Turkish Foreign Ministry couldn't have said it any better.

ipek rudd

1/17/2012 9:44:57 PM

As a Turkish woman who grew up in TX, I completely agree with Perry!!! Turkey has been going in the wrong direction for the last 10 years & it has nothing to do with Rick Perry. Turks need to take a good long look at the mirror & decide if they want

df lickiss

1/17/2012 9:19:55 PM

I've been a proud Republican grassroots activist for over 20 years. With this guy and the last President I am seriously beginning to wonder why we just didn't let Texas form its own independent nation back in 1861 when they rebelled.
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