A new think tank founded by a group of US neoconservative figures aims to turn Turkey back into a “democracy” and a “reliably ally” of the United States once more. Although the Turkish Democracy Project” stops short of calling for regime change, its staff is littered with men whose careers have been built on it.
“For the better part of the last century, Turkey was a reliable ally and a model in the region of liberal ideals and cultural freedom,” the Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) says on its website. “But in recent years, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dramatically altered Turkey’s position in the international community and its status as a free and liberal democracy.”
Why this is the task of a bunch of American former diplomats and academics is never stated.
US-Turkish Relations Slowly Implode
Turkey joined the NATO alliance in 1952, meaning the US is pledged to defend the country if it comes under attack, and Turkey has long been a key partner for the US in the region, including housing a large air force base at Incirlik that held nuclear weapons. However, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has butted heads with US policymakers several times in recent years, helping to create a rift between the allies.
In Syria and Iraq, Turkey has also largely stood contrary to US policies, particularly in its war against Kurdish militias, which Ankara calls terrorist groups but which are also allied with the United States and serving an important…