Turkey had spoken loudly and resolutely against Anders Fogh Rasmussen taking the reins at NATO when the secretary-general post became vacant early last year.
The Turkish position was entirely personal: Mr Rasmussen, then Danish prime minister, refused to clamp down on pro-PKK television stations inside Denmark. Turkey also objected because of Denmark’s handling of that cartoon crisis. It was only resolved when Barack Obama personally intervened. But all this was already known.
What we didn’t know then, but do know now, is that part of the deal was for “a qualified Turk” would be considered for the position of Mr Rasmussen’s deputy. But the Turkish foreign ministry official goes on:
Instead…a German of uncompelling merit was selected. “We suspect a deal between Rasmussen and Merkel.” … “We missed an opportunity with the selection of the Assistant Secretary General.” [the official] added: “We let Rasmussen have Secretary General, because we trusted you.”
Who is this German of “uncompelling merit”? NATO’s website throws up no clues.