After a Kurdish group claimed responsibility for a series of recent bombings in Turkey that killed three civilians and injured many others, the United States appointed a retired Air Force general and former NATO commander, Joseph Ralston, to work with Turkish authorities. General Ralston will be responsible for coordinating American anti-terrorist efforts with Iraq and Turkey, both of which have sizable Kurdish minorities — and minorities within those minorities who have resorted to terror. The Turkish foreign ministry hailed the appointment as a “new opportunity” for cooperation between the US and Turkey.

The US would be wise to create many more and varied opportunities to engage with Turkey, a long-time ally, and a uniquely important one. Turkey is a predominantly Muslim, secular democracy, situated between Europe and the Middle East. The US needs to frankly acknowledge that instability in Iraq, on Turkey’s southeast border, has fomented instability in Turkey. That morally obligates the US to help with corrective action.

The US can also help to keep Turkey’s aspiration to join the EU on track, by advocating more openly for resolution of the division of Cyprus between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The US must not ever take Turkey for granted. — The New York Times