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News ID: 91939
Publish Date : 02 July 2021 - 21:44
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Disguised as ‘Democracy Project’

ANKARA (Sputnik) – A new think tank founded by a group of U.S. neoconservative figures aims to turn Turkey back into a ‘democracy’ and a ‘reliably ally’ of the United States once more.
Although ‘the Turkish Democracy Project’ stops short of calling for regime change, its staff is littered with men whose careers have been built on it.
“For the better part of the last century, Turkey was a reliable ally and a model in the region of liberal ideals and cultural freedom,” the Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) says on its website. “But in recent years, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dramatically altered Turkey’s position in the international community and its status as a free and liberal democracy.”
The group, whose website went active on June 23, describes itself as “a nonprofit, non-partisan, international policy organization” which “opposes its destabilizing behavior, supports genuine democratic reform, and holds the forces of corruption and oppression within Turkey to account.”
Why this is the task of a bunch of American former diplomats and academics is never stated.
Turkey joined the NATO alliance in 1952, meaning the U.S. is pledged to defend the country if it comes under attack, and Turkey has long been a key partner for the U.S. in the region, including housing a large air force base at Incirlik that held nuclear weapons. However, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has butted heads with U.S. policymakers several times in recent years, helping to create a rift between the allies.
In April, sanctions came into force against Ankara for its purchasing of S-400 air defense systems from Russia, which the U.S. said was dangerous because it could expose weaknesses in the F-35 stealth aircraft that Turkey was also preparing to field. Turkey was also kicked out of the F-35 program in the affair.
Aside from the sanctions, another important mark of the unraveling U.S.-Turkey relationship was the April recognition by the Biden administration of the 1916 ‘genocide’ of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.
The situation brings to mind many former U.S. allies who have been discarded after they no longer proved useful to US foreign policy, such as longtime Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Several members of the TDP have a Project for the New American Century (PNAC) pedigree, including Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and the brother of former U.S. President George W. Bush; and John Bolton, who was undersecretary of state and UN ambassador for Bush before becoming former U.S. president Donald Trump’s hawkish national security adviser.
“It’s time to sound the alarm on Turkey,” Bolton tweeted on June 23. “Under an authoritarian leader, a once-reliable NATO ally is turning its back on democracy and embracing Russia. I’m pleased to join the @turkish_project advisory council to shine a light on the darkening situation.”

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