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U.S. to Turkey: Back off


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Obama administration has a message for Turkey: Tone it down.

A day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed frustration that Secretary of State John Kerry had yet to visit his country in the wake of a failed coup attempt, a State Department official said the U.S. is increasingly concerned about the language emanating from its longtime NATO ally.

Much of that language has been deeply anti-American, with Turkish media peddling allegations that the Obama administration was behind the coup attempt and even suggesting a Washington think tank had a role. Erdogan has, to some extent, fanned the flames, while simultaneously reaching out to U.S. rival Russia, which he visited Tuesday…

Blaise Misztal of the Bipartisan Policy Center said the coup attempt and its aftermath “are threatening to break up this ossified pattern of U.S.-Turkish relations,” which he said had long been built around the notion that Turkey was a “necessary, if undesirable partner.”

“The possibility that Erdogan has gone too far is finally being openly discussed in Washington,” he said.