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    Karen Hughes hits Turkey on third stop of Middle East tour for US image support

    Hürriyet Haber
    29.09.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    Karen Hughes, the US State Department's newly appointed undersecretary of public diplomacy, as well as a powerful advisor and friend of US President George Bush, arrived in Turkey on the third stop of her tour of the Middle East, following stops in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In meetings with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Hughes reportedly admitted that "President Bush is aware that as a result of the war in Iraq, people in the region have reacted negatively to US policies." In her talks with FM Gul, sources say that Hughes also stressed US expectations from Ankara on helping the US image in Turkey and the region in general. Hughes arrived in Turkey with more than 20 US journalists in tow, explaining to her hosts that part of the goal of her tour was to bring back images of the region to the American people, who were on the whole ignorant of the geography and the people living in the region.  Gul stresses US promises on PKK  Gul for his part passed on the message to Hughes that the US taking concrete measures in fighting the PKK presence in Iraq would be the greatest step in terms of helping its image in Turkey that it could take. In a press conference following her meeting with Gul, Hughes did reiterate that in the eyes of the US, the PKK was on par with Al Queda, and that the US would keep its promise in regards to fighting PKK presence in Iraq. Hughes then said "The US and Turkey share many values, including democracy, human rights, and women's rights."  Going from Ankara to Istanbul later in the day, Hughes visited the Topkapi Palce Museum, meeting there with a variety of religious leaders .
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