Once the apotheosis of a pro-Western, dependable Muslim democracy, this week Turkey officially left the Western alliance and became a full member of the Iranian axis.
It isn't that Ankara's behavior changed fundamentally in recent days.
There is nothing new in its massive hostility toward Israel and its effusive solicitousness toward the likes of Syria and Hamas.
Since the Islamist AKP party first won control over the Turkish government in the 2002 elections, led by AKP chairman Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the Turks have incrementally and inexorably moved the formerly pro-Western Muslim democracy into the radical Islamist camp populated by the likes of Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, al-Qaida and Hamas.
What made Turkey's behavior this week different from its behavior in recent months and years is that its attacks were concentrated, unequivocal and undeniable for everyone outside of Israel's scandalously imbecilic and flagellant media.
Until this week, both Israel and the US were quick to make excuses for Ankara. When in 2003 the AKP-dominated Turkish parliament prohibited US forces from invading Iraq through Kurdistan, the US blamed itself. Rather than get angry at Turkey, the Bush administration argued that its senior officials had played the diplomatic game poorly.
In February 2006, when Erdogan became the first international figure to host Hamas leaders on an official state visit after the jihadist group won the Palestinian elections, Jerusalem sought to explain away his diplomatic aggression.
Israeli leaders claimed that Erdogan's red carpet treatment for mass murderers who seek the physical destruction of Israel was not due to any inherent hostility on the part of the AKP regime toward Israel. Rather, it was argued that Ankara simply supported democracy and that the AKP, as a formerly outlawed Islamist party, felt an affinity toward Hamas as a Muslim underdog.
Jerusalem made similar excuses for Ankara when during the 2006 war with Hizbullah Turkey turned a blind eye to Iranian weapons convoys to Lebanon that traversed Turkey; when Turkey sided with Hamas against Israel during Operation Cast Lead, and called among other things for Israel to be expelled from the UN; and when Erdogan caused a diplomatic incident this past January by castigating President Shimon Peres during a joint appearance at the Davos conference.
So, too, Turkey's open support for Iran's nuclear weapons program and its galloping trade with Teheran and Damascus, as well as its embrace of al-Qaida financiers have elicited nothing more than grumbles from Israel and America.
H/T: David F.