Turkey: Her Own Mistress

At Ankara's airport, President Charles de Gaulle's opening remarks were lost on his hosts—because the official assigned to turn on the public-address system was asleep at the switch. Then De Gaulle noticed that his interpreter had got ahead of him. Nudging the man, De Gaulle growled, "I did not say that." Finally, the Turkish security police were no match for rampaging photographers, one of whom got his camera within two feet of the general's nose during the playing of the Marseillaise.

The five-day state visit was clearly off to a bad start, even though penitent Turkish authorities promptly sacked the...