RUBIN

The Washington Times Daily - - TURKEY - Michael Rubin, Ph.D., is a res­i­dent scholar at the Amer­i­can En­ter­prise In­sti­tute and au­thor of “Danc­ing with the Devil” (En­counter 2015), a his­tory of U.S. diplo­macy with rogue regimes.

in that coun­try’s north, Ah­met Kavas, a Turk­ish am­bas­sador and close as­so­ciate of Mr. Er­do­gan, tweeted that “Al-Qaeda is very dif­fer­ent from ter­ror,” and spec­u­lated that the French troops were the real ter­ror­ists.

Then in 2014, shortly be­fore Boko Haram ter­ror­ists kid­napped al­most 300 girls from a school in north­east­ern Nigeria, a leaked record­ing re­vealed the pri­vate sec­re­tary of Turk­ish Air­lines telling an aide to Mr. Er­do­gan about his un­ease at the air­line trans­port­ing weaponry for Is­lamist mil­i­tants.

Late last year, a Wik­ileaks dump of more than 50,000 emails be­long­ing to Berat Al­bayrak, Mr. Er­do­gan’s son-in-law and Turkey’s oil minister, sug­gested that Mr. Er­do­gan’s fam­ily prof­ited di­rectly from Is­lamic State oil. Mr. Er­do­gan’s son, mean­while, was pho­tographed meet­ing with a man, who at the time was a U.S. Trea­sury-des­ig­nated al Qaeda fi­nancier.

While Turkey coasts on its rep­u­ta­tion from decades past — and dozens of U.S. con­gress­men and di­plo­mats still pay lip ser­vice to Turkey’s role in NATO or its ties to Europe — Mr. Er­do­gan has fun­da­men­tally changed the coun­try. He has shed any pres­ence of po­lit­i­cal prag­ma­tism and sup­ports Is­lamist ter­ror­ism for both ide­ol­ogy and profit. Nor is the prob­lem any­more just one man: Thir­teen years in power have en­abled Mr. Er­do­gan to trans­form Turk­ish so­ci­ety com­pletely. The in­tel­li­gence ser­vice, po­lice and bu­reau­cracy are un­der his con­trol. The ac­tions in which Turkey en­gages are not rogue op­er­a­tions, but de­lib­er­ate.

Sim­ply put, Turkey has be­come Pak­istan on the Mediter­ranean. Its di­plo­mats might say the right thing about wag­ing war on ter­ror, but its ac­tions sug­gest the op­po­site. By any ob­jec­tive stan­dard, the State De­part­ment should des­ig­nate Turkey to be a state spon­sor of ter­ror­ism. Main­tain­ing the cha­rade of Turk­ish part­ner­ship is dan­ger­ous: Euro­pean in­tel­li­gence ser­vices have re­cently caught their Turk­ish coun­ter­parts surveilling po­lit­i­cal dis­si­dents in the Nether­lands, Ger­many and Switzer­land. Doc­u­ments sug­gest Turkey may be en­gaged in the same be­hav­ior in the United States.

But isn’t Turkey a NATO mem­ber? Yes, but that or­ga­ni­za­tion should de­feat ter­ror­ism, not laun­der it. Cal­i­brat­ing pol­icy to an imag­i­nary Turkey is easy diplo­mat­i­cally, but it is ul­ti­mately dan­ger­ous. It is time to face re­al­ity.

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