Strange things have been happening to the NYT’s Turkish reporting lately. Here are some examples from before and after the Russian jet incident:
BEFORE THE JET INCIDENT
1- Turkey’s Drift From NATO
’’Turkey under Mr. Erdogan has become increasingly authoritarian, and it becomes apparent that the country is drifting away from an alliance whose treaty says it is “founded on the principles of democracy” as much as defense.’’
2- The Scare Tactics of Erdogan
3- Dark Clouds Over Turkey
AFTER THE JET INCIDENT
1- Turkey Expands Alevi Rights
” Mr. Davutoglu also called for the opposition to support a new Constitution to replace the current one, a product of a military coup. “In its place, let us together compile a modern, democratic, liberal constitution, which all would be proud of,” he said.”
2- Syrian Migrants in Istanbul Confront Choice: Stay or Move
” Syrians here say they are newly optimistic because of the victory of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist Justice and Development party in parliamentary elections last month. Syrians, by and large, love Mr. Erdogan because of Turkey’s longstanding open-door policy for refugees, and ahead of the election they worried that opposition parties hostile to foreigners would do well at the ballot box.”
Well, well. It seems that there has been a change of heart in some of the NYT’s post-Russian jet coverage.
Did Turkish society change suddenly? No.
Did President Erdoğan and PM Davutoğlu suddenly change their policies and speeches to suit the sensitivities of everyone in the US and the EU? Not that we’ve noticed. Did a bunch of new issues that the NYT’s editors weren’t previously aware of suddenly appear after Mr. Putin became the #1 regional bad guy? Nope.
Maybe it reminded them of which country is truly a democracy and has been a staunch NATO ally for more than 60 years, and why that’s important in this region?