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Troublesome Erdogan Feeding on U.S. Indulgences

By Samuel J. Brannen / The National Interest

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As Washington revisits its Middle East policy relating to Egypt and Syria, it should also examine the past five years of relations with another critical country, Turkey. The hope at the outset of the Obama administration that Turkey could play a positive, moderating role in the Middle East has given way to a different reality—of a nation that increasingly meddles in its neighbors’ internal affairs and clashes with U.S. policy. Turkey’s potential as a nation and a regional leader is immense. But for the time being, it is working contrary to U.S. interests and against regional stability. If Turkey is unwilling to live up to its promise as a bridge between sects and civilizations, it should be bypassed in the formulation of U.S. strategy for the region.