I think this is misguided viewpoint. Not saying Erdogan is an angel, but in regard to the Kurds, I think we should grant he has a legitimate reason to defend his country. The Kurds organized their Kurdistan Workers Party under a Maoist leader in the 70’s and 80’s. Their stated goal has not only been the creation of a Kurdish state, but also the establishment of a MAOIST COMMUNIST state in part of Turkey. Up until the Iraq war with Saddam, they were not generally viewed by the US government as a positive group. The CIA was reportedly involved in the capture of the Kurdish leader who was hiding out in Kenya. Since his imprisonment, he has supposedly “softened” his political opinions; however, who can tell if this is not a strategy to hold continued US support? To add to the mix, there is not just one unified Kurdish party either, but a mixture of all sorts of groups of various political ideologies. I think to get tangled in this morass would be extremely detrimental for the USA.
Erdogan is a tyrant but my suspicion is that the only people in Turkey who would benefit from fair and free elections and democracy in general are the Muslim fundamentalists. Whenever given the chance, that is who Muslim voters choose (Egypt being the prime example). So yeah he stinks but we should tread carefully in pushing for alternatives.