Of course, Turkey tolerates no criticism of its own violations of human rights in suppressing its Kurdish population. It lectures Israel about occupied land but is silent about its sponsorship of the Turkish absorption of much of Greek Cyprus. It laments a divided Jerusalem but says nothing about the segregation of Nicosia.
Erdogan often accuses Israel of human-rights violations, but to this day no Turkish government has ever acknowledged culpability for the genocide of the Armenians. Far from it: Not long ago, Erdogan threatened to deport Armenians from Turkish soil.
Where and how does all this end?
Turkey's new ambitions and ethnic and religious chauvinism are antithetical to its NATO membership. The U.S. should not be treaty-bound to defend a de facto ally of Iran or Syria, which are both eager to obtain nuclear weapons. European countries foresaw the problem when they denied Turkey membership in the now fragile European Union, fearful that Anatolian Islamists would have unfettered transit across European borders.
In response, the U.S. should make contingency plans to relocate from its huge Air Force base at Incirlik — a facility that Turkey has in the past threatened to close. We should brace for new troubles in the Aegean region and Cyprus, as a bankrupt and often anti-American Greece is now alienated from both the U.S. and northern Europe — and yet increasingly vulnerable to a return of Ottoman regional ambitions.
The Shah of Iran's pro-Western, secular transformation failed and led to the Ayatollah Khomeini's anti-Western Islamic revolution; we are seeing something similar in Erdogan's efforts to turn Ataturk's Turkey back into the theocratic sultanate that ran the Eastern Mediterranean for more than three centuries.
If Erdogan is intent on a suicidal reinvention of Turkey into a pale imitation of Ottoman hegemony, we can at least take steps to ensure that it will be his mess — and none of our own.