Key Points

Trump would be wise to learn from the Obama administration’s bitter experience with Erdogan’s double-dealing. Otherwise, Erdogan could yet again collude with Tehran to undermine Washington’s sanctions strategy against Iran.

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What is clear already, however, is that the Khashoggi affair will likely not be a turning point for press freedom, or the rule of law in the Middle East. Rather, it will become yet another illustration of the deeply personal and corrupt power politics that continue to characterize the region.

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This, unfortunately, is not unique to Turkey. Politics in the Middle East is often rife with conspiratorial language demonizing ethnic and religious minorities and their imagined patrons in the West. Unless pro-democracy forces in Turkey and the Middle East at large can overcome longstanding prejudices and break free from bigoted thinking, they will continue to play into the hands of regimes which thrive on conspiracies.

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Far from championing Erdogan for finally allowing an innocent pastor to walk free, the United States must refrain from normalizing the Turkish strongman’s thuggery until all hostages are free. The ultimate goal for the transatlantic world must be to help their wayward ally return to the rules-bound international order. Only that scenario can end Erdogan’s hostage diplomacy — and offer, perhaps, a glimmer of hope to Turkey’s own imprisoned dissidents as well.

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Read the full article here.

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Events

EVENT: Results of Erdogan's Snap Election Gambit: Implications for U.S.-Turkey Relations

June 27, 2018 | 11:45

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