Tags: Turkey Coup | r. james woolsey | turkey | coup

Ex-CIA Director James Woolsey: 'We Want Things to Go Well for the Turks'

Ex-CIA Director James Woolsey: 'We Want Things to Go Well for the Turks'
R. James Woolsey (AP) 

By    |   Friday, 15 July 2016 09:53 PM

Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey said Friday that while he knew that tensions were rising in Turkey on a recent visit, the military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan caught him by surprise.

"I was very surprised to see this," Woolsey told Anderson Cooper on CNN. "I spent about six months in Turkey a little over a year ago, and there were tensions, but I thought that this was quite surprising."

Erdogan has been able to gradually increase his hold on the military and "each time, each event more or less produced an increase in his authority — and he was very resolute about it," Woolsey said.

"Erdogan is probably a very controversial figure inside Turkey, but he is a very popular figure especially in rural areas — and he is appealing to many Turks."

Because Turkey is a NATO ally, "we have real reason to want things to go well for the Turks," he told Cooper. "We need them in that part of the world.

"We need their ability to deal with Syria and the problem with Iraq.

"We need the stability they can bring," Woolsey added, though "it is frustrating for many of us who have seen the arrests of journalists and other things that have occurred over the course of the last several years.

"But … compared to almost all of the rest of the Middle East, there is a long-term sense of hope, I think, that many of us have about Turkey."

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Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey said Friday that while he knew that tensions were rising in Turkey on a recent visit, the military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan caught him by surprise.
r. james woolsey, turkey, coup
246
2016-53-15
Friday, 15 July 2016 09:53 PM
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