Hunh.  Apparently Obama doesn’t think Turkey is a democracy.

And then there are those who would lay all of the problems of the Middle East at the doorstep of Israel and its supporters, as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all trouble in the region. These voices blame the Middle East’s only democracy for the region’s extremism. They offer the false promise that abandoning a stalwart ally is somehow the path to strength. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be.

According to a 2007 survey by the Economist – hardly a bastion of liberalism – Israel was somewhat more democratic than Turkey.  But even Israel wasn’t in the category of “fully functioning” democracy, but a “flawed” democracy.  If you’re going for “as democratic as the U.S.”, or a “fully functioning democracy” – which Obama seems to be using as a yardstick – then neither Israel nor Turkey is a democracy.   If you use this standard, there is no democratic nation in the Middle East. 

But Obama knows what side his bread is buttered on.  Accordingly, Israel is a democracy, and Turkey is not.