Last night Rick Perry, asked if Turkey still belongs in NATO, said that it’s “a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists.” The Turkish Ambassador to the US is, per his statement, “disappointed and concerned,” while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara is far less temperate; the scorn they heap on Perry makes for entertaining reading.
The thing is, Perry was, while imprecise, kind of onto something. So writes Michael Rubin, who has extensively documented the troubling political developments in Turkey in recent years: “While I would not go so far as Governor Perry, had he simply called Prime Minister Erdoğan an enabler for Islamic terrorists, he would be 100 percent correct.” Rubin goes on to list supporting evidence.
That said, if a presidential candidate is going to say something that creates a minor international incident, he should probably be precisely correct. Perry wasn’t.