4,655. 3/1/2003

Former President George W. Bush recalled, before the invasion of Iraq, “For months, we had been pressing the Turks to give us access to their territory so that we could send fifteen thousand troops from the Fourth Infantry Division to enter Iraq from the north. We promised to provide economic and military aid, help Turkey access key programs from the International Monetary Fund, and maintain our strong support for Turkey’s admission to the European Union. At one point, it looked like we would get permission. Prime Minister Abdullah Gul’s cabinet approved our request. But when the Turkish parliament held a final vote on March 1 [2003], it came up just short of passage. I was frustrated and disappointed. On one of the most important requests we had ever made, Turkey, our NATO ally, had let America down.”

 – George W. Bush, Decision Points, Page 250

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