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Putin marches on, by John R. Bolton (Washington Times via EMET)

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Aug. 15, 2016

Russia’s new ties with Turkey leaves the U.S. more vulnerable

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow demonstrated clearly America’s deteriorating position in both Europe and the Middle East. Following Turkey’s failed military coup, Mr. Erdogan’s maneuverings, including mass arrests of his political opposition, are accelerating his acquisition of unchecked domestic power, thereby enabling him to reverse his country’s secular constitution and render it an Islamicist state.

The implications for Ankara’s membership in NATO and the West more broadly could hardly be clearer. And who was waiting to host Mr. Erdogan’s first postcoup meeting with a foreign leader but Mr. Putin in Moscow. Although Russian-Turkish history has been complicated, to say the least, often adversarial militarily and politically, Mr. Putin knows how to seize the main chance when it appears.

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