Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP, File, Yasin Bulbul
In this March 5, 2017 file-pool photo, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks in Istanbul. On a mission to rehabilitate its image, Turkey is instead inching closer to being an outcast among Western nations that seem to understand their NATO ally less and less each day.

ANKARA, Turkey — On a mission to rehabilitate its image, Turkey is instead inching closer to being an outcast among Western nations that seem to understand their NATO ally less and less each day.

Eight months after a failed coup shattered its delicate status quo, Turkey is mounting a concerted but thus-far futile public relations campaign. The aim is to persuade the outside world that the horrors of that day justify both the post-coup crackdown and a constitutional overhaul strengthening presidential powers.

Turkey has sought to project an image of a modern democracy that serves as a bulwark against the extremism menacing so many of its Mideast neighbors. Yet a series of self-defeating steps have become telling reminders of how wide a gulf still separates Turkey from the Western world.