At the U.N., Turkey Asserts Itself in Prominent Ways

UNITED NATIONS — If the United Nations General Assembly often serves as a stage for ambitious countries to project a new image, none has grabbed that opportunity this year with as much vigor as Turkey.

In a flurry of speeches and meetings — and one meeting that did not happen — the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, defended his country’s close ties to Iran, proclaimed Turkey’s intention to become a leader in the Muslim world, and spurned an attempt to mend fences with Israel over its deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza.

Turkey’s muscle-flexing has left the United States uneasy, with administration officials worried that Iran had obtained access to financing for its nuclear program through Turkish banks, and that Turkey’s rift with Israel could complicate American efforts to make peace in the Middle East.


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