Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is at the center of an international incident today, after an attempt to build relations with a foreign government went horribly wrong.
It began as a friendly trade summit in Wasilla between Palin and high officials from the Republic of Turkey. President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan had spent the day touring businesses in Anchorage and the surrounding area, before proceeding to a turkey farm outside Wasilla for the signing of an Alaska-Turkey trade agreement.
There were smiles all around as Palin and Gul placed their signatures on the pact, intended to promote Alaska-Turkey trade in agricultural and manufactured products.
“This is a great day,” said President Gul.
“The people of Turkey are hungry for Alaska seafood, earmarks, snow machines, and surplus G’s,” Gul said.
Palin was effusive in her comments, saying that trade helps build peace. “I am so glad that our two states are buildin’ strong relations, and both being next to Russia also, it is good that we pull together, helpin’ each other when Putin’s head rears and looms,” Palin said.
But the good feelings vanished only minutes after the ceremony concluded.
Giving a lengthy interview to a TV reporter, Palin was unaware of what was unfolding behind her, in the background of the scene being recorded on video.
As Palin spoke casually about the success of the trade summit, behind her President Gul and Foreign Minister Babacan were being stuffed into turkey slaughtering fixtures.
Minutes dragged by as a farmhand struggled to get the two VIPs into the steel, funnel-shaped devices. Palin continued her interview, finally concluding by saying how much fun the trade summit had been.
It wasn’t until Palin left in her motorcade that the two Turkish leaders were able to communicate to farm representatives that they were in fact politicians and not turkeys.
The nation of Turkey quickly reacted with anger, suspending parliamentary ratification of the trade pact and demanding an investigation.
Palin’s office issued a statement calling the incident “no big deal.”
“Governor Palin has enormous amounts of foreign policy experience, and that experience tells her that this is not an international incident,” read the statement.
Turkey’s foreign ministry called this unacceptable. “This is the worst Thanksgiving, ever,” a ministry spokesman declared, and announced a retaliatory embargo against American canned cranberries.
Palin speaks with reporters as President Abdullah Gul (left)
and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan (leg) are stuffed into
(Annual Turkey-Based Post ©2008 Wiseline Institute NW)