- - Sunday, May 27, 2018

It’s time to tell the truth about Turkey. Under the Islamist government of Recep Erdogan, Turkey is no longer an ally of the United States. Its membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a fraud. Turkey cannot be trusted.

Erdogan has slowly but surely moved Turkey away from the secular heritage of Kemal Ataturk, who knew full well the dangers of returning Turkey to its Islamist, imperialist, Ottoman roots. We now have a full-fledged Islamist theocracy on NATO’s southern flank, actively thwarting America’s agenda in the Middle East.

The speed and skill with which Russian president Vladimir Putin pulled Turkey back into Moscow’s orbit after the shootdown of a Russian attack jet in Syria by a Turkish F-16, has been dramatic and breathtaking. The coup-de-grace for Mr. Putin was Turkish assurances of acquiring the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, designed to down Western aircraft in a time of war.

Now Turkey, being faced with a possible embargo in Congress against purchasing other American high-performance equipment, such as the F-35, is threatening to purchase the Russian stealth fighter, the SU-57.

“Turkey is looking at buying Russian Su-57 fighter jets in case the United States refuses to sell its F-35 warplanes, Turkey’s YeniSafak reported on Sunday,” wrote Russian state news agency TASS. With Moscow’s state-controlled media, this little tidbit would not be released unless it was intended for Western consumption.

Congress is right. Why would we trust Mr. Erdogan with such sensitive technology? Who could be sure he wouldn’t just turn over one of the jets to his new BFF, Vlad?

It’s time we look at Turkey with clear eyes. NATO needs to move against this clear and present danger to the alliance. Creeping Sharia law and anti-American behavior, anti-EU behavior, is not congruent with being a member of NATO. How can we trust Turkey in any future conflict with Russia?

Yes, perhaps Turkey could change with the removal of Erdogan from the presidency, but that is unlikely.

Putin didn’t pull any punches when he slapped economic sanctions on Turkey when Mr. Erdogan displeased the Kremlin, Trump shouldn’t either. To paraphrase The Donald, our sanctions are bigger than Moscow’s.

It’s time to force Turkey to choose.

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