2017-04-18 19:01:37 UTC
'Massive Electoral Fraud' in Turkey's Referendum Reports find followers of Tayyip Erdogan rigged vote to give president sweeping executive powers
The referendum marks the death of Turkish democracy. Erdogan endorsed the death penalty, signaling the demise of Turkey’s EU candidacy.
If NATO was being formed today, Turkey would not qualify as a member because it is Islamist, undemocratic, and anti-American.
What effect will the sham referendum have on US-Turkey relations?
Turkey wants the Trump administration to endorse the referendum’s result. Turkey has a formidable advocacy machine. It lavishes contracts on lobbyists. It uses surrogates to fund political campaigns. It throws money at think-tanks and influence peddlers like Michael Flynn and Rudy Giuliani.
Turkey’s hired hands emphasize Turkey as an indispensable security partner, ignoring its well-documented support for jihadists including ISIS. Turkey is at best an uncertain ally. Pentagon planners should diversify air combat operations. Alternatives to Incirlik Air Force base exist in Cyprus, Jordan Kuwait, and Iraqi Kurdistan.
If the US is serious about defeating ISIS in Syria, it should increase support for Syrian Kurds in the Battle for Raqqa. It will also work with Syrian Kurds to enforce a safe zone on the Turkish-Syrian border. Additionally, the US should formalize its security cooperation with Syrian Kurds who comprise a majority of Syrian Defense Forces.