Just coming back to this, thanks for a very informative post. I was just wondering what were they thinking of when they decided to put the F35 production line and repair centre in Turkey? Is it a combination of strategic location and cheaper labour costs? Because right now that looks to me like a very stupid decision.The US isn't ready to make hard choices regarding Turkey, it will do everything it can to kick that shit-filled can as far down the road as possible. There's no doubt what the emotional, gut reaction is, or what the principled reaction is, and it's the one the US wants to make - it's difficult to get over to people how appalled the US 'deep state' is by how Turkey has behaved throughout the last 7 years (and more), and how appalled they are by Turkey's willingness to tell the US to fuck off,and mean it, which is a particularly unwelcome development.
The US is genuinely in a bind - it would like nothing better than to turf Turkey out of the club and face them off over Kurdistan (the principle, and the reality on the ground that it's people have been fighting with for years), but they are faced with the unpleasant reality that if they do Turkey will walk out of NATO and into the Russian camp (and take with it the F-35 production line and repair centre - thereby writing off a $1.5 trillion fighter program that is meant to equip NATO air forces for the next 50 years...). The US knows that Vlad the Invader will offer literally anything to get Turkey out of NATO and close off the Eastern Med to the US - that, unfortunately, is the situation the US finds itself in, and it simply isn't in a position to give Turkey any kind of ultimatum involving an 'or else's, because Turkey (or perhaps more correctly, Erdogan) will prefer the 'or else'.