Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul met yesterday in the Pentagon with US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. During talks with Gonul, Secretary Rumsfeld expressed sorrow for an incident earlier in the year when a US lieutenant giving a speech at NATO's Defense Training Center in Rome had used a map showing 18 cities in Turkey clearly marked inside an area labeled as "Kurdistan."
Minister Gonul was greeted by a military ceremony on his entrance to the Pentagon yesterday. After being welcomed by Secretary Rumsfelt, Gonul signed the official Pentagon guest book, after which Turkish and American delegations headed up by the two defense leaders started their talks.
Included in the American delegation was former US Ambassador to Ankara, Eric Edelman, who is currently the US Deputy Secretary of Defense. The matter of the map containing the reference to Kurdistan was brought up at the start of the talks by Rumsfeld, who called the incident "a unfortunate one." Rumsfelt did however assert to Gonul that the incident had no connection whatsoever with the Pentagon.
Gonul, following his meetings in Washington, is expected to go to Forth Worth, Texas, where he will examine facilities producing F-35 war planes.