ANKARA, Turkey, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes, on a mission to improve U.S. image in the Arab world, once again found the going tough, this time in Turkey.
At a meeting Wednesday with a group of leading women's right advocates in Ankara, the participants berated Hughes with denunciations of the war in Iraq and accusations of U.S. efforts to export democracy by force, reports the New York Times.
In a similar encounter earlier in Saudi Arabia, some Saudi women did not like Hughes' promise to support efforts to raise their status. The women charged that Americans misunderstand their embrace of traditions.
In Turkey, a Kurdish feminist leader told Hughes she was "ashamed" of the Iraqi war.
Hughes replied: "I can appreciate your concern about war. No one likes war." She was quoted as saying "my friend President Bush" did all he could to avoid a war in Iraq, adding: "It is impossible to say that the rights of women were better under Saddam Hussein than they are today."