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Biden's apology hides the truth

US Vice President Joe Biden’s instant apology to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be considered a technical obligation, but not a denial of the merits of what has been said.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is pictured with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd L) during an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, May 16, 2013. Pictured at right is Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent.      REUTERS/Jason Reed    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTXZPQL

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received an instant public apology from the White House following US Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks Oct. 2 at the Harvard Kennedy School. Biden delivered his personal apology to Erdogan via telephone Oct. 4, and the White House issued a statement saying that Biden did not intend to imply that Turkey “intentionally” facilitated terrorists. While this apology — after a student questioned whether the United States should have acted earlier in Syria and why this is the right time now — has not yet appeared on the White House website, its YouTube audio upload of Biden’s speech includes one problematic segment (at the 1 hour, 32-minute mark).

The question is in fact a perfect reflection of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s approach to the Syrian dilemma. “No one has neither the right nor the license to criticize Turkey,” Davutoglu said Oct. 4. “The US administration and Joe Biden know too well that Turkey has been continuing to provide a safe haven to the [Syrian] refugees for four years, and if our warnings had been heeded at the beginning, we would not be living these tragedies today.”

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