The Turk tyrant comes to America to open huge mosque
When Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Washington this week, it will be an opportunity for President Barack Obama, as well as most of the Washington foreign policy establishment, to ponder how they so misread a man they had touted only a few years ago as a great reformer.I was one of first to be critical of the Erdogan government who I have described as a lousy ally who would rather fight the US allies dealing with ISIL than ISIL. His attacks on teh KUrds are misguided at best and are mainly helpful to the Islamic religious bigots of ISIL.
Until 2013, Obama himself boasted of his close personal friendship with the Turkish leader. In 2013, the last time Erdogan visited Washington, Obama praised his Turkish counterpart for his efforts to normalize relations with Israel and for a cease-fire with Kurdish separatists. Obama even thanked Erdogan for his child-rearing tips.
This time it will be much different. Erdogan will get no formal meeting with Obama this week when he will be in town for a nuclear security summit, though he will be officially meeting with Vice President Joe Biden. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that he expects Obama and Erdogan will have an “informal discussion" instead.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Obama turned down an invitation from the Turkish leader to attend the opening of a Turkish-funded Mosque in Maryland. Obama recently told the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg that he considers his old friend to be a "failure and an authoritarian."
Even some of Turkey's closest friends in Washington are now warning that Erdogan is becoming a tyrant. “Within the past decade, many of Turkey’s friends here were optimistic about your country’s potential to become a vibrant and stable democracy as well as a strong and capable U.S. ally. Recent developments in Turkey, however, are deeply troubling," states an open letter to the Turkish president drafted by two former U.S. ambassadors to Turkey, Mort Abramowitz and Eric Edelman. That letter is to be released Wednesday by the Bipartisan Policy Center and has 48 signatories, including former senators Chuck Robb and Joe Lieberman.
Representative Steve Cohen, a Democratic co-chairman of the Congressional caucus on U.S.-Turkish relations, which has supported strengthening U.S. ties to Erdogan's government, told us the Turkish leader's effort "to consolidate his power and his crack down on the press is troubling."