The crisis between the United States and Turkey, a NATO ally and traditional bulwark of American policy in the Middle East, is serious. While the relationship between them has often been fraught, the two countries have generally managed to keep difficulties within acceptable limits. No longer.
There is no overstating the trauma of the attempted coup that shook Turkey a year ago this Saturday. Turkey, which had believed the age of military coups was behind it, once again witnessed tanks on the streets of Istanbul and Ankara. Before the night was through, nearly 300 were killed, more than a thousand were injured, Turkey’s parliament was bombed.
Sunday’s narrow win for the “yes” campaign for constitutional change in Turkey was perhaps the worst possible result for the country. Turkish democracy, always more aspiration than reality, is now in tatters. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the presidential system he had desired for so long, but in doing so betrayed weaknesses that will embolden his enemies.
Corrupt, egomaniacal and repressive, there is not much to recommend Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule -- save the inescapable fact that he is the democratically elected head of state. And that he is a politician who shines brightest in a fight.