Trump’s ongoing bromance with Turkey’s authoritarian leader notwithstanding, Congress and the Administration must act to make clear that the United States isn’t giving Erdoğan a blank check to act in the Middle East.
Erdoğan might have stopped Turks from tweeting, but he should no longer be able to keep American leaders from voicing their views of his increasing authoritarianism. It’s time for the White House to speak up.
The U.S.-Turkish relationship has come to be defined by a rhetoric of mutual admiration that obscures the tensions created by Ankara’s increasingly sectarian and authoritarian domestic politics. For the United States, honesty about America’s differences with Turkey would be the better policy.