[Ed. – This one has been hard for people to say aloud, but it’s bearing down on us. Erdogan has basically now undone everything that made Turkey a viable, meaningful ally for either NATO as a whole, or the U.S. in particular. The problem is unlikely to simply adjust itself.]
Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.) warned Wednesday the longstanding alliance between the United States and Turkey is crumbling amid President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pivot to Russia and ongoing detention of an American pastor.
In a nod to Erdogan’s crackdown on civil society in the wake of the country’s failed military coup in 2016, Lankford said the NATO ally can no longer be considered open or free as its government trends toward authoritarianism.
“We have an ally that we no longer know and we no longer recognize—we’d like to have our friend and our ally back,” Lankford said during a panel hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Capitol Hill. “This is a long-term alliance that’s slipping away from us and we hope for a reengagement with the Erdogan government.”