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Research Report


Bulent Aliriza
Bulent Aras
Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 2012
Pages: 30
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. IV-IV)
    Bulent Aras and Bulent Aliriza
  2. (pp. V-VI)

    The partnership between the United States and Turkey, which traces its origins to the Cold War, has gone through constant adjustment since the beginning of the post–Cold War era.

    The current turmoil in the Middle East has served as a stark reminder to both Washington and Ankara of their shared interests and complementary strategic perspectives. Close coordination between the United States and Turkey during the Arab Spring, Turkey’s continuing contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, Turkey’s decision to join the U.S.-led NATO missile shield program, and U.S. security assistance to Turkish military efforts against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party...

  3. (pp. 1-4)

    Although Turks and Americans first established diplomatic relations with the opening of Ottoman and U.S. legations 1867 and 1901 respectively, a close alignment between the two countries did not develop until after World War II. This is understandable as the relationship had no geographic, cultural, or economic foundations. The alliance was constructed on urgent strategic needs at the outset of the Cold War. As World War II was coming to an end, the United States and Turkey saw a convergence of their national interests due to their common but distinct perceptions of the Soviet Union as a threat.

    Initially, Turkey...

  4. (pp. 5-7)

    Just as the period toward the end of World War II set the course for the first phase of the U.S.-Turkish alliance, the adjustment at the end of the Cold War would provide the framework for the subsequent two decades.

    With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the common bond between the two Cold War allies was gone. Nonetheless, the close relationship between the United States and Turkey not only endured after the Cold War, but thrived, unlike many of Washington’s other relationships established during the same period. Washington and Ankara sought and...

  5. (pp. 8-21)

    The future of the alliance in the third decade and beyond will be determined to a great extent by the ability of the two countries to maximize their convergence and minimize their divergence in a number of areas of common interest, in particular the Middle East.

    At the core of growing U.S.-Turkish cooperation is the Turkish “model” or “inspiration” for the changing Middle East. With its political stability and economic development in a resource-rich but politically volatile region, Turkey, with U.S. backing, has supported widespread Arab demands for democratic transformation. As Islamist activists and others previously shut out of long-ossified...