“Cyprus, the strong ally of the United States, continues to be a victim of Turkish occupation.”

The Biden Administration ignores the steadfast support of the Republic of Cyprus and once again, rewards dictator Recep Erdogan.

Why Does Biden Reward Adversaries and Ignore Allies?

By Michael Rubin
Washington Examiner

April 19, 2024

President Joe Biden on May 9 will welcome his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House, rolling out the red carpet as part of a deal to get Erdogan to drop his veto over Sweden’s NATO membership.

The invitation will not bring peace; rather, it is the equivalent of giving brass knuckles to a wife beater. Erdogan relishes thumbing his nose at the United States. Two decades of deliberate incitement have transformed Turkey into one of the world’s most anti-American countries. Turkish brown shirts repeatedly attack American servicemen in Turkey. In 2017, Erdogan sicced his bodyguards on peaceful protesters in the heart of Washington, D.C., sending several to the hospital. To date, Turkey has failed to return its henchmen to face justice or compensate American victims.

At a time when the Middle East is aflame, Erdogan pours gasoline, not water. On Wednesday, Erdogan delivered a speech before Parliament punctuated by his allies chanting “Death to Israel.” The Turkish dictator accused Israel of sponsoring previous coups; never mind that Erdogan had also accused the U.S., Jews, former Islamist allies, and a range of political opponents of coup plotting now and in the past.

At the same time, Erdogan endorses Hamas. “While everyone else remained silent, we defined Hamas as a resistance movement, not a terror group,” Erdogan bragged. He will now repeat that message at the White House, calculating that Biden will have neither the fortitude nor ability to debate him. Erdogan would not be wrong. After all, like every other world leader, Erdogan watches as Biden and his Senate proxies bash Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as anti-democratic, but neither criticize Erdogan himself nor Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, currently in the 20th year of his four-year presidential term.

What makes the honor for Erdogan worse is that Biden repeatedly ignores true American allies. Consider Cyprus: Nikos Christodoulides is now slightly more than a year into his first term. Elected as an independent, he has dedicated his tenure to pushing Cyprus unapologetically and without any hesitation into the Western camp, despite inherent political risks.

Absent Christodoulides’s leadership and Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos’s proactive problem-solving, the humanitarian corridor into Gaza would be dead on arrival. Whereas much of the world pays lip service to Israel’s security while seeking compromises that endanger the world’s only Jewish state, Christodoulides and Kombos have incorporated Israeli concerns to ensure Israel can inspect cargo in Cyprus and then maintain chain of custody to ensure Turkey, Iran, and other states do not smuggle contraband into Gaza. If any world leader deserves an American thank-you and support, it is Christodoulides.

Biden and his aides often say they seek to promote human rights, yet they increasingly reward those who most abuse them. The Erdogan visit increasingly appears to be a slow-motion train wreck. As the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of northern Cyprus nears, Erdogan undermines security even further, opening the door to Iranian money laundering and drones in the occupied zone and walking away from the peace process.

It is not too late, however, to kill two birds with one stone: Slap Erdogan down for his incitement while rewarding a true ally. Biden, cancel Erdogan’s invitation. Do not give a platform for an anti-American, antisemitic, corrupt dictator. Invite Christodoulides in his place. Reward those willing to stick their necks out for democracy, liberalism, and American values. That would be the diplomatic shot heard round the world.