Obama to Turkey: Shape Up or No Weapons Deal

US unhappy with its stance on Iran, Israel
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2010 8:34 AM CDT
Obama to Turkey: Shape Up or No Weapons Deal
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends meetings with top military officials at the Army headquarters in Ankara, Turkey,on Aug. 1, 2010.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

If Turkey wants to buy US weapons, it needs to change its tune on Iran and Israel, President Obama told Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At issue: Turkey voted against UN sanctions on Iran in June and spoke out against the Israeli raid that killed nine Turks on a flotilla bound for Gaza. "The president has said to Erdogan that some of the actions that Turkey has taken have caused questions to be raised…about whether we can have confidence in Turkey as an ally," a US official told the Financial Times.

So why does Turkey care? It wants to buy US drone aircraft to attack the Kurdish separatist PKK after the US pulls out of Iraq next year. "They need to show that they take seriously American national security interests," the official said. Washington will be watching for "sufficient efforts" before making a decision on the weapons sale.

(More Recep Tayyip Erdogan stories.)

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