Turkey's Turn Against the U.S.

(Weekly Standard) Philip Terzian - Turkey's membership in NATO was largely a matter of strategic convenience, not conviction, as it is located on the southern edge of the Russian/Soviet empire. Despite Erdogan's thuggish autocracy and reflexive anti-Americanism - not to mention anti-Semitism - he is widely admired among Turks, and he and his fellow Islamists in the Justice and Development party (AKP) keep winning elections. Moreover, if public opinion polls are to be believed, the U.S. is not just unpopular in Turkey but overwhelmingly reviled, an attitude that long antedates President Trump. As Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute pointed out in the Washington Post last week, American defenders of Turkey's status within the alliance seem resolutely blind to what "15 years of Erdogan has done to the United States' former ally. In short, they confuse Turkey of yesteryear with Turkey today." And Turkey today is, by any measure, inimical to the interests of the United States and NATO. ISIS fighters passed through Turkey with impunity. And Turkey's ongoing war against its Kurdish minority has not just hampered America's war on terror - preventing access to Saddam Hussein's Iraq via Turkey's border during the Iraq war - but has brought it close to open conflict with U.S. forces in northern Syria. Erdogan now seeks to purchase Russian missiles for Turkey's air defenses. The notion of a NATO member integrating its defenses with Moscow's must necessarily concentrate minds in Washington.

2018-08-31 00:00:00

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