Turkey bows to the dark side
From LA times
Ahmadinejad's visit produced little in terms of substantive policy; the signing of a multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline deal was put off. But Ahmadinejad got something just as valuable: a chance to spin his own image, court popularity and bash the United States and Israel.
Departing from established practice of having visiting Muslim heads of state pray in a smaller mosque in Istanbul, the government allowed Ahmadinejad to pray in the Blue Mosque, Turkey's symbol of tolerant Ottoman Islam. With permission from Turkish authorities, he also allowed Iranian television to videotape him during the entire prayer, in violation of Islamic tradition, which requires quiet and intimate communion between God and the faithful. There was so much commotion around Ahmadinejad that the imam had to chide the congregants. Then, as he left the mosque, Ahmadinejad got out of his car to encourage a crowd of about 300 to chant, "Death to Israel! Death to America!"