Turkey took another step away from democracy and closer to becoming an extremist Islamist state and patron of terrorists this week when Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the country's first elected president.
He has said he wants to build a "new Turkey" that will respect the diverse views of his nation, but he is the one most responsible for the deep divisions that plague it and damaging its international standing.
The Israeli Navy intercepted an Iranian ship in the Red Sea early Wednesday and found long-range, military-grade surface-to-surface rockets hidden behind containers holding bags of cement. Israeli officials said the rockets were bound for terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
In a move that had apparently been carefully choreographed by the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu picked up the phone today and called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with an apology for the 2010 Israeli raid on a Turkish flotilla that killed nine Turkish citizens. Erdogan accepted.
Other than the remnants of Sadat’s Egypt, whose peace with Israel is now as fragile as peace can be, more Western hope was invested in Turkey than any other country in the Middle East. It was at one point less Islamist than secular, an applicant to the European Union and a member of NATO but not the Arab League. In the late 1990s, Israel and Turkey seemed virtual allies.