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Bush in Turkey Amid Unprecedented Security, Tense Atmosphere - 2004-06-26


With the transfer of power in Iraq just days away, President Bush is in neighboring Turkey for a NATO summit. Before joining other alliance leaders in Istanbul, he is meeting with Turkish leaders in Ankara.

Mr. Bush arrived in the Turkish capital under heavy security. Troops and tanks are following his every movement in Ankara and surrounding his hotel. It is a sign of the tense atmosphere in a city that has seen terrorist bombings in recent days.

About the same time the president arrived, those tensions increased as word reached Ankara of the kidnapping of three Turkish workers in Iraq.

The situation in Iraq will be the focus of the NATO summit, which opens in Istanbul late Sunday. The Iraqi interim government has asked the alliance for training and equipment for its security forces.

President Bush is urging NATO members to put aside their differences over the war in Iraq and meet the request. He says NATO has the ability and the responsibility to help.

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