To welcome Turkey’s President Erdogan to Washington, a group of several dozen former officials, foreign policy analysts, and academics have written him an open letter. The letter can be found here, and signatories include two former U.S. ambassadors to Turkey and two former U.S. senators, in whose company I am happy to find myself.
The letter begins this way:
Within the past decade, many of Turkey’s friends here were optimistic about your country’s potential to become a vibrant and stable democracy as well as an increasingly strong and capable U.S. ally. The salutary role Turkey can play, regionally and globally, has been demonstrated by the hospitality your country has extended to millions of refugees. Recent developments in Turkey, however, are deeply troubling.
The letter notes Erdogan’s assaults on free media in Turkey, the recent turn away from negotiations toward violence regarding Turkey’s Kurdish population, and use of a such a broad definition of "terrorism" that it includes writing and speech by many peaceful lawmakers, academics, and journalists.
It can only be hoped that Vice President Biden uses his meeting with Erdogan to raise these issues and let him know how troubling they are to many Americans.