In retrospect, now I realize how much Turkey has changed in the last 17-years. . .
When AK Party came to power, relations with the USA were the most challenging ones among the multilateral problems it faced. To be more precise, when the USA under the George W. Bush administration was getting prepared to invade a neighboring country of Turkey (Iraq) on the grounds that it posed a ‘security threat’ according to the assessment of the September 11th attacks (2001), Turkey was expected to facilitate the American military deployment and take part in the invasion.
Public opinion in Turkey was not ready to accept this.
Our media in general -the ones supportive of AK Party in particular- opposed this fiercely.
The opposition, particularly CHP under the leadership of Deniz Baykal, was unwilling to allow a military adventure.
It seemed that considerable number of MPs in the ranks of the AK Party group in the parliament weren’t convinced of the operation either. Important leading figures of the party, including Turkish Parliament Speaker Bülent Arınç, believed that Turkey’s participation in the invasion would be wrong.