What on the surface seems simply an esoteric argument over ecclesiastical jurisdiction is anything but. At the heart of the schism lie the ideological underpinnings for Putin’s new nationalism, and its violent manifestations in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
Pastor Brunson is free, but many others are not. The U.S. should not push Turkey away, but continue the hard work of diplomatic engagement around core human rights issues. It should also continue to engage broad range of challenges these partner countries are facing in the region.
Syria—with five million refugees, 500,000 dead, the Pandora’s box of chemical warfare reopened, a cesspool of terror groups, and Russians and Americans, Israelis and Iranians shooting at each other—is the very definition of chaos.
Although Turkish human rights abuses may seem like a secondary concern for the US in light of Turkish threats against US partners in Syria and Turkey’s deepening relationship with Russia and Iran, these issues cannot be separated.