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Turkey-United States relations

Turkey-United States relations

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Turkey – United States relations
In the post-World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 period evolved from the Second Cairo Conference
Second Cairo Conference
The Second Cairo Conference of December 4–6, 1943, held in Cairo, Egypt, addressed Turkey's possible contribution to the Allies in World War II...

 in December 1943 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

's entrance into World War II on the side of the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 in February 1955, as a result of which Turkey became a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 after the war in quelling a communist rebellion, along with demands by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 for military bases in the Turkish Straits
Turkish Straits
The term Turkish Straits refers to the two narrow straits in northwestern Turkey, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, that connect the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea on one side and the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean Sea on the other. They are conventionally considered the boundary between the...

, prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine
Truman Doctrine
The Truman Doctrine was a policy set forth by U.S. President Harry S Truman in a speech on March 12, 1947 stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere...

 in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece, and resulted in large scale U.S. military and economic support. This support manifested in the establishment of a clandestine stay behind army, denoted the "Counter-Guerrilla
Counter-Guerrilla
Counter-Guerrilla is the Turkish branch of Operation Gladio, a clandestine stay-behind anti-communist initiative backed by the United States as an expression of the Truman Doctrine. The founding goal of the operation was to erect a guerrilla force capable of countering a possible Soviet invasion...

", under Operation Gladio
Operation Gladio
Operation Gladio is the codename for a clandestine NATO "stay-behind" operation in Italy after World War II. Its purpose was to continue anti-communist actions in the event of a shift to a Communist party led government...

. After participating with United Nations forces in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952.

The friendliness of Turkey towards the United States has declined markedly over the past five years. The decline of U.S.-Turkish relations is primarily a result of the United States' instigation of and action in the Iraq War. Turkey views the Iraq war as a significant threat because northern Iraq acts as a safe-haven for a Kurdish
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 terrorist organisation, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
Kurdistan Workers Party
The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

. Furthermore, Turkey views the destabilization of Iraq as a possible impetus for Kurds to claim their independence from Turkey, Iraq, and/or other Middle Eastern countries with significant Kurdish populations.

Early relationship


Turkey's most important international relationship has been with the United States since the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. Turkey's association with the United States began in 1947 when the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 designated Turkey, under the provisions of the Truman Doctrine, as the recipient of special economic and military assistance intended to help it resist threats from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. A mutual interest in containing Soviet expansion provided the foundation of U.S.–Turkish relations for the next four decades. As a result of Soviet threats and U.S. assistance against them, Turkey moved away from a single-party government towards democracy; in fact holding the first democratic elections in 1950, as a result of which self-declared "National Chief" Ismet Inonu
Ismet Inönü
Mustafa İsmet İnönü was a Turkish Army General, Prime Minister and the second President of Turkey. In 1938, the Republican People's Party gave him the title of "Milli Şef" .-Family and early life:...

 was finally toppled by the people and Adnan Menderes
Adnan Menderes
Adnan Menderes was the first democratically elected Turkish Prime Minister between 1950–1960. He was one of the founders of the Democratic Party in 1946, the fourth legal opposition party of Turkey. He was hanged by the military junta after the 1960 coup d'état, along with two other cabinet...

 was elected by popular vote. In support of overall United States Cold War strategy, Turkey contributed personnel to the United Nations forces in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 (1950–53), joined NATO in 1952, became a founding member of the Central Treaty Organization
Central Treaty Organization
The Central Treaty Organization was formed in 1955 by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. It was dissolved in 1979.U.S...

 (CENTO) collective defense pact established in 1955, and endorsed the principles of the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine
Eisenhower Doctrine
The term Eisenhower Doctrine refers to a speech by President Dwight David Eisenhower on 5 January 1957, within a "Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East". Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a country could request American economic assistance and/or aid from U.S. military...

. In the 1950s and 1960s, Turkey generally co-operated with other United States allies in the Middle East (Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

) to contain the influence of those countries (Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

) regarded as Soviet clients. Throughout the Cold War, Turkey was the bulwark of NATO's southeastern flank, directly bordering Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 countries and risking nuclear war on its soil during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

. Turkey received around 2.5 billion dollars in military aid from 1950 to 1970 (in 1970 dollars).
Since 1954, Turkey hosts the Incirlik Air Base
Incirlik Air Base
The Incirlik Air Base is located in İncirlik, five miles east of Adana, Turkey's fifth largest city, and from the Mediterranean Sea.The U.S...

, an important operations base of the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

, which has played a critical role during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, and the recent Iraq War.

Turkish invasion of Cyprus


On 20 July 1974 Turkey, using the coup as a pretext, invaded Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 , purportedly to restore constitutional order. Instead, it seized 35% of the territory of Cyprus in the north, an act universally condemned as a gross infringement of international law and the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Charter. Turkey, only 75 km away, had repeatedly claimed, for decades before the invasion and frequently afterwards, that Cyprus was of vital strategic importance to it. Ankara has defied a host of UN resolutions demanding the withdrawal of its occupation troops from the island. About 142.000 Greek Cypriots living in the north – nearly one quarter of the population of Cyprus – were forcibly expelled from the occupied northern part of the island where they constituted 80% of the population. These people are still deprived of the right to return to their homes and properties. U.S. Congress imposed an embargo on arms sales to Turkey leading to excessive tension and mistrust between relations of Turkey and USA.

1980s


During the 1980s, relations between Turkey and the United States gradually recovered the closeness of earlier years. Although Ankara resented continued attempts by the United States Congress to restrict military assistance to Turkey because of Cyprus and to introduce congressional resolutions condemning the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

, the Özal
Turgut Özal
Halil Turgut Özal was Prime Minister of Turkey and President of Turkey . As Prime Minister, he transformed the economy of Turkey by paving the way for the privatization of many state enterprises.-Early life and career:...

 government generally perceived the administration of President George H.W. Bush as sympathetic to Turkish interests. Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 was sympathetic to the Armenian cause and is the last American to have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

. . It was in this period that the Turkish Aerospace Industries
Turkish Aerospace Industries
Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. is the center of technology in design, development, manufacturing, integration of aerospace systems, modernization and after sales support in Turkey....

 (TAI) was established and started to licence-build F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force . Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since...

 jets in Turkey. Washington also demonstrated its support of Özal's market-oriented economic policies and efforts to open the Turkish economy to international trade by pushing for acceptance of an International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 program to provide economic assistance to Turkey. Furthermore, the United States, unlike Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an countries, did not persistently and publicly criticize Turkey over allegations of human rights violations. Also, the United States did not pressure Özal on the Kurdish
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 problem, another issue that seemed to preoccupy the Europeans. By 1989 the United States had recovered a generally positive image among the Turkish political elite.

After the Cold War


The end of the Cold War forced Turkish leaders to reassess their country's international position. The disappearance of the Soviet threat and the perception of being excluded from Europe have created a sense of vulnerability with respect to Turkey's position in the fast-changing global political environment. Özal believed Turkey's future security depended on the continuation of a strong relationship with the USA. For that reason, he supported the United States' position during the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, although Turkey's economic ties to Iraq were extensive and their disruption hurt the country. After the war, he continued to support major United States initiatives in the region, including the creation of a no-fly zone
No-fly zone
A no-fly zone is a territory or an area over which aircraft are not permitted to fly. Such zones are usually set up in a military context, somewhat like a demilitarized zone in the sky, and usually prohibit military aircraft of a belligerent nation from operating in the region.-Iraq,...

 over northern Iraq, the Arab–Israeli peace process, and expanded ties with the Central Asian members of the CIS. Özal's pro-United States policy was not accepted by all Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

. The United States' use of Turkish military installations during the bombing of Iraq in 1991 led to antiwar demonstrations in several cities, and sporadic attacks on United States facilities continued in 1992 and 1993. Nevertheless, among Turkey's political elite, a consensus had emerged by January 1995 that Turkey's security depended on remaining a strategic ally
Strategic alliance
A Strategic Alliance is a relationship between two or more parties to pursue a set of agreed upon goals or to meet a critical business need while remaining independent organizations...

 of the United States. For that reason, both the Demirel
Süleyman Demirel
Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel, better known as Süleyman Demirel , is a Turkish politician who served as Prime Minister seven times and was the ninth President of Turkey.-Life:Demirel was born in İslamköy, a town in Isparta Province...

 and Çiller
Tansu Çiller
Tansu Penbe Çiller is a Turkish economist and politician. She was Turkey's first and only female Prime Minister.- Early career :She is the daughter of a Turkish governor of Bilecik province during the 1950s. She graduated from the School of Economics at Robert College after finishing the American...

 governments undertook efforts to cultivate relations with the administrations of presidents George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 and Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

.

War on Terror


Turkey has remained a close ally of the United States, supporting it in the war on terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 in the post September 11
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

 climate. However, the Iraq war faced strong domestic opposition in Turkey and as such, the Turkish Parliament couldn't reach the absolute majority of 276 votes needed for allowing U.S. troops to attack Iraq from Turkey, the final tally being 264 votes for and 250 against. This led to a brief period of cooling in relations, particularly following the "hood event
Hood event
The Hood event was an incident on July 4, 2003 following the 2003 invasion of Iraq where a group of Turkish military personnel operating in northern Iraq were captured, led away with hoods over their heads, and interrogated by the United States military...

", which was perceived as an act of hostility in Turkey. However, bilateral relations between the two allies soon regained momentum through diplomatic, humanitarian and indirect military support. The vast majority of the military and civilian logistic support to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq goes through Turkey by land, or through Turkish air space.

Ankara is particularly cautious about an independent Kurdish
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 state arising from a destabilized Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Turkey has fought an insurgent war against the Kurdistan Workers' Party
Kurdistan Workers' Party
The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

 (PKK), a Kurdish guerrilla group (recognized as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

) seeking Kurdish independence, in which more than 37,000 people have lost their lives. This has led Ankara to pressure the U.S. into clamping down on guerrilla training camps in northern Iraq, though the U.S. remains reluctant due to northern Iraq's relative stability compared to the rest of the country as well as its lack of spare forces to divert away from the more contentious areas of Iraq. On October 17, 2007, the Turkish Parliament voted in favour of allowing the Turkish Armed Forces
Turkish Armed Forces
The Turkish Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of Turkey. They consist of the Army, the Navy , and the Air Force...

 to take military action against the PKK rebels based in northern Iraq. In response, U.S. President George W. Bush stated that he did not believe it's in Turkey's interests to send troops into Iraq.

In late 2007, Turkey recalled its ambassador to the United States after the House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed a United States resolution on the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

 in the Ottoman Empire. This resulted in a delay of a full House vote on Res. 106. Speaker Pelosi has pledged to bring the resolution to a full vote, but pressure from the White House and Turkey has kept her from doing so.

Nevertheless, the United States and Turkey share membership in NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

 (OECD), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

 (OSCE) and the G-20
G-20 major economies
The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union, which is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank...

, and continue to cooperate in important projects, such as the Joint Strike Fighter program. The United States also actively supports Turkey's membership bid to join the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, lobbying frequently on behalf of Ankara through its diplomatic missions in EU capital cities. In June 2008, The United States and Turkey began to cooperate on peaceful uses of nuclear energy with a pact that aims for the transfer of technology, material, reactors and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production in Turkey for an initial 15-year period followed by automatic renewals in five-year increments that provides a comprehensive framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation between the two nations under the agreed non-proliferation conditions and controls. A parallel U.S. bipartisan resolution has recently highlighted the importance for Turkish Republic's key role in providing her western (EU and US) and regional allies Eurasian energy security.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has recently started a one-year initiative project to evaluate and enhance the Turkish Republic - United States strategic partnership, aiming for a plan of implementation of the concluded framework at the end of this phase.

2009 US presidential visit to Turkey



US President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 made his first official visit to Turkey, stopping off in both Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

 and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, on April 6–7, 2009. There had been critics in the U.S. who claimed that Turkey should not be rewarded by an early presidential visit as its government had been systematically reorienting foreign policy onto an Islamist axis, but as former US Ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris has stated, “Whatever the merits of this argument, the Obama administration, by scheduling the visit, have decisively rejected it.”

During his visit Obama urged Turkey to come to terms with its past and resolve its Armenian issues. Prior to this, during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, he had criticised the then US President George W. Bush for his failure to take a stance and stating that the "Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence". He responded positively to an announcement from sources in Ankara and Yerevan
Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country...

 that a deal might soon be struck to reopen the border between the two states and exchange diplomatic personnel by indicating that although his own personal views on the subject remained unchanged, he may, in order to avoid derailing this diplomatic progress, refrain from using the word genocide in his upcoming April 24 speech on the question.

Turkish President Gül later referred to the visit as “evidence of a vital partnership between Turkey and the US,” whilst Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
Ahmet Davutoglu
Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu is a Turkish political scientist, an academic and an ambassador. On May 1, 2009, he was named Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey after being the chief advisor to the Prime Minister of Republic of Turkey.-Life and career:...

 pointed out that, “You are changing the psychological atmosphere,” of what was before “seen as a military relationship,” but as Obama made clear, “We are not solely strategic partners, we are also model partners,” and with this change in terminology, “The President wanted to stress the uniqueness of this relationship. This is not an ordinary relationship, it’s a prototype and unique relationship.” A US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing entitled The United States and Turkey: A Model Partnership under the chairmanship of the Head of the Subcommittee on Europe Robert Wexler
Robert Wexler
Robert Wexler is the president of the Washington-based S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.Wexler was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing , from 1997 until his resignation on January 3, 2010.-Early life:Wexler was born in Queens, New York to Sonny and...

 was convened following, “the historic visit that Obama paid to Turkey,” and concluded that, “This cooperation is vital for both of the two states in an environment in which we face serious security issues in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, the Balkans, Black Sea, Caucuses and the Middle East, besides a global financial crisis.”

Following Obama’s visit Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003 and is chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party , which holds a majority of the seats in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Erdoğan served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He graduated in 1981 from Marmara...

 and Chief of the Turkish General Staff
Chief of the Turkish General Staff
The General Staff of the Republic of Turkey presides over the Armed Forces of the Republic of Turkey, comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force...

 Gen. İlker Başbuğ
Ilker Basbug
Mehmet İlker Başbuğ was till August 2010 the 26th Chief of the General Staff of Turkey. In this post he is succeeded by Işık Koşaner.-Biography:...

 played host to US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

 Adm. Mike Mullen in Ankara. In the course of the closed-door meeting they discussed the pledging of further Turkish support troops to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 where Turkish authorities have influence, the secure transport of troops and equipment from the port of İskenderun
Iskenderun
İskenderun is a city and urban district in the province of Hatay on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The current mayor is Yusuf Hamit Civelek .-Names:...

 during the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, and the pro-Kurdish terrorists operating in south-eastern Turkey and northern Iraq.

On April 22, 2009, shortly after Obama’s visit, Turkish and Armenian authorities formally announced a provisional roadmap for the normalisation of diplomatic ties between the two states. The US responded positively with a statement from the office of US Vice President Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. is the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama...

, following a phone conversation with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, which stated that, “The Vice President applauded President Sargsyan’s leadership, and underscored the administration’s support for both Armenia and Turkey in this process.” Turkish columnists however criticised the timing of the announcement believing it to have been made to placate the US President in advance of his April 24 speech, with Fikret Bila writing in the Milliyet
Milliyet
Milliyet is a major Turkish daily newspaper founded in 1950.-History:Milliyet came to publishing life at the Nuri Akça press in Babıali, Istanbul as a daily private newspaper on 3 May 1950...

that, “the Turkish Foreign Ministry made this statement regarding the roadmap before midnight,” as it would allow Obama to go back on his campaign promise, to refer to the incident as genocide, which the Turkish government denies profusely, by pointing out to the Areminan diaspora that, “Turkey reached a consensus with Armenia and set a roadmap,” and, “there is no need now to damage this process.”

President Obama on the Armenian Genocide


“Ninety-four years ago, one of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century began. Each year, we pause to remember the 1.5 million Armenians who were subsequently massacred or marched to death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. The Meds Yeghern must live on in our memories, just as it lives on the hearts of the Armenian people,” stated the Statement of President Barack Obama on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. As previously indicated US President Obama had chosen to avoid the use of the word genocide in order to avoid upending recent pledges of a closer partnership with Turkey but for many the use of the Armenian term Meds Yeghern, translated as “Great Calamity”, did little to placate critics within the country.

Official Turkish response was highly critical with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003 and is chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party , which holds a majority of the seats in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Erdoğan served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He graduated in 1981 from Marmara...

 stating, “We regard the statement concerning the 1915 events as an interpretation of history that does not reflect the truth and is thus unacceptable. We are saddened that the issue is being persistently exploited and many politicians are trying to win votes out of the controversy over the 1915 events. Turkey is not a country that can be flattered and then fooled.” Whilst Turkish President Abdullah Gül
Abdullah Gül
Dr. Abdullah Gül, GCB is the 11th and current President of the Republic of Turkey, serving in that office since 28 August 2007. He previously served for four months as Prime Minister from 2002-03, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003-07....

 claimed, “Hundreds of thousand of Turks and Muslims also died in 1915. Everyone’s pain must be shared.” Although no official complaint was lodged US Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry the day after the statement, where officials expressed “views, comments, assessments, as well as the reaction.”

Obama confirmed in his speech that, “I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.” In response former US Ambassador Parris has stated that the new US administration had been “true to its public declarations of readiness to listen and be responsive to Turkish viewpoints and concerns”, before concluding that, “had the statement contained the word ‘genocide’, US-Turkish relations would have gone into a deep freeze that would have taken years to thaw,” and although criticised Obama’s speech, “did no lasting harm.”

Continued cooperation in the war on terror



The 2009 US Secretary of State’s Country Report on Terrorism confirmed that cooperation in terrorism is a key element in America’s strategic partnership with Turkey, before going on to praise Turkish contributions to stabilise Iraq and Afghanistan and highlighting the strategic importance of the İncirlik Air Base
Incirlik Air Base
The Incirlik Air Base is located in İncirlik, five miles east of Adana, Turkey's fifth largest city, and from the Mediterranean Sea.The U.S...

 in Adana
Adana
Adana is a city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean, in south-central Anatolia...

 used by both US and NATO forces for operations in the region.

Questions have been subsequently raised, however, over the continued presence of US nuclear weapons, reportedly stationed at the air base during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 as part of the NATO nuclear sharing
Nuclear sharing
Nuclear sharing is a concept in NATO's policy of nuclear deterrence, which involves member countries without nuclear weapons of their own in the planning for the use of nuclear weapons by NATO, and in particular provides for the armed forces of these countries to be involved in delivering these...

 programme, after recent parliamentary debates in Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 called for the removal of weapons stationed there under the same programme. Bilkent University
Bilkent University
İhsan Doğramacı Bilkent University, commonly referred to as Bilkent University or Bilkent, is the first private, nonprofit university in Turkey with the fundamental aim of creating a center of excellence in higher education and research...

 Professor Mustafa Kibaroğlu speculates that if the Obama administration presses for the withdrawal of these weapons, which Turkey wishes to maintain, then Turkey-US relations may be strained.

The US Secretary of State’s report also contained information on the PKK and other terrorist groups operating in Turkey, whom the US and Turkish authorities share intelligence on, highlighting the September 12, 2006 attack on Diyarbakır
Diyarbakır
Diyarbakır is one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey...

 and the July 27, 2008 attack on Güngören before going on to mention the ongoing Turkish investigation into the Ergenekon network and concluding that, “the details of the case were murky, however, and Ergenekon’s status as a terrorist organisation remained under debate at year’s end.”

A separate report presented to US President Obama by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, which had previously urged him to raise the subject of religious freedom during his 2009 presidential visit to Turkey, concluded that Turkey’s interpretation of secularism, “resulted in violations of religious freedoms for many of the country’s citizens, including members of the majority and, especially, minority religious communities.”

A US Democratic Party delegation group including US Senators Robert Casey
Bob Casey, Jr.
Robert Patrick "Bob" Casey, Jr. is the senior U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as Pennsylvania Treasurer, and Pennsylvania Auditor General. He is the son of former Governor Bob Casey, Sr..He is the first Democrat elected to a full term in...

, Edward E. Kaufman, Frank Lautenberg
Frank Lautenberg
Frank Raleigh Lautenberg is the senior United States Senator from New Jersey and a member of the Democratic Party. Previously, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automatic Data Processing, Inc.-Early life, career, and family:...

 and US Congressman Timothy Waltz met with Turkish officials in Ankara on 30 May to confirm, “Turkey can always depend on the US, while the US can always rely on its close friendship with Turkey.”

2009 Conference on US-Turkish Relations


The 28th American Turkish Council Annual Conference on US-Turkish Relations entitled “US-Turkey: Overcoming Challenges in an Era of Change” commenced in Washington on 31 May 2009 with key speakers Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül
Vecdi Gönül
Mehmet Vecdi Gönül is Minister of Defence of Turkey and Member of Parliament for Kocaeli.-Biography:Gönül's father, Saffet, was a teacher in Military high schools. His mother's name was Lütfiye. He graduated in political science from Ankara University in 1960 and returned to Erzincan as a civil...

 and Chief of the Turkish General Staff
Chief of the Turkish General Staff
The General Staff of the Republic of Turkey presides over the Armed Forces of the Republic of Turkey, comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force...

 İlker Başbuğ
Ilker Basbug
Mehmet İlker Başbuğ was till August 2010 the 26th Chief of the General Staff of Turkey. In this post he is succeeded by Işık Koşaner.-Biography:...

 both thanking the US for its support in anti-terror actions against the PKK, with Başbuğ adding, “Our relations are very comprehensive and cannot be limited to one specific issue,” and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
Ahmet Davutoglu
Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu is a Turkish political scientist, an academic and an ambassador. On May 1, 2009, he was named Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey after being the chief advisor to the Prime Minister of Republic of Turkey.-Life and career:...

 elaborating “I think where there’s the most promise is in the idea that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership, one in which a majority Christian and a majority Muslim nation, a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents can come together; we can create a modern international community that is respectful secure and prosperous. This is extremely important,” and, “Model partnership is not an issue of preference, but it is a necessity.”

Turkey and the Iranian Nuclear Crisis


In April 2010, Washington stepped up its efforts to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

But key powers such as Turkey, India and China oppose the adoption of a new round of sanctions against Teheran.

As a result the American Congress has held up arms sales sought by the Turkish military in order to impose their will on the Kurds.

2010 Leaked diplomatic documents


According to leaked diplomatic cables
United States diplomatic cables leak
The United States diplomatic cables leak, widely known as Cablegate, began in February 2010 when WikiLeaks—a non-profit organization that publishes submissions from anonymous whistleblowers—began releasing classified cables that had been sent to the U.S. State Department by 274 of its consulates,...

, Erdoğan was described by US diplomats as having "little understanding of politics beyond Ankara" and as surrounding himself with an "iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors". He is said to be "isolated", and that his MPs and Ministers feel "fearful of Erdogan's wrath". Diplomats state that "he relies on his charisma, instincts, and the filterings of advisors who pull conspiracy theories off the web or are lost in neo-Ottoman
Neo-Ottomanism
Neo-Ottomanism is a Turkish political ideology that in its broadest sense, promotes greater engagement with areas formerly under the Ottoman Empire....

 Islamist fantasies".

Human rights and arms sales


In 2010 American president Obama warned NATO ally Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 that future arms sales would depend on Turkish policies.

Visits


Guest Host Place of visit Date of visit
  Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Turkey
The Prime Minister of the Turkey is the head of government in Turkish politics. The prime minister is the leader of a political coalition in the Turkish parliament and the leader of the cabinet....

 Bülent Ecevit
Bülent Ecevit
Mustafa Bülent Ecevit was a Turkish politician, poet, writer and journalist, who was the leader of Republican People's Party , later of the Democratic Left Party and four-time Prime Minister of Turkey.- Personal life :...

  President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

September 27, 1999
  President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

  President
President of Turkey
The President of Turkey is the head of state of the Republic of Turkey. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office but has some important functions...

 Süleyman Demirel
Süleyman Demirel
Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel, better known as Süleyman Demirel , is a Turkish politician who served as Prime Minister seven times and was the ninth President of Turkey.-Life:Demirel was born in İslamköy, a town in Isparta Province...

Çankaya Köşkü
Çankaya Köskü
Çankaya Köşkü or Çankaya Köşk is the official residence of the President of Turkey. It is located in the Çankaya district of Ankara, which lends its name to the palace. The name is sometimes used as a metonymy for the current president. The Çankaya Presidential Compound stretches over of land...

, Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

November 15, 1999
  President
President of Turkey
The President of Turkey is the head of state of the Republic of Turkey. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office but has some important functions...

 Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Ahmet Necdet Sezer
- External links :* , Presidency of the Republic of Turkey...

  President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

September 4, 2000
  President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

  President
President of Turkey
The President of Turkey is the head of state of the Republic of Turkey. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office but has some important functions...

 Abdullah Gül
Abdullah Gül
Dr. Abdullah Gül, GCB is the 11th and current President of the Republic of Turkey, serving in that office since 28 August 2007. He previously served for four months as Prime Minister from 2002-03, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003-07....

Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

 and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

April 6-April 7, 2009

American Schools in Turkey

  • Bursa American Girl College (1854 - 1928)
  • Robert College
    Robert College
    Robert College of Istanbul , is one of the most selective independent private high schools in Turkey. Robert College is a co-educational, boarding school with a wooded campus on the European side of Istanbul between the two bridges on the Bosphorus, with the Arnavutköy district to the east, and...

     (1863 - )
  • Talas American College
    Talas American College
    Talas American College was a secondary school for boys, located in Talas, Kayseri in Turkey.-History:...

     (1871 - 1968)
  • Üsküdar American Academy
    Üsküdar American Academy
    Üsküdar American Academy is a private coeducational high school located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is regarded as one of the most academically rigorous institutions in Turkey.-History:...

     (1876 - )
  • Anatolia College in Merzifon
    Anatolia College in Merzifon
    The Anatolia College in Merzifon or American College of Mersovan was a coeducational high school located in the town of Merzifon in the Rûm Province of the Ottoman Empire established and directed by American missionaries between 1886 and 1924.-Theological seminary:The school was established in...

     (1886 - 1924 )
  • Tarsus American College
    Tarsus American College
    -Overview:Tarsus American College or Tarsus American School is a private coeducational high school located in Tarsus, province Mersin, Turkey.It is known for the success of its alumni throughout the world...

     (1888 - )

See also


  • Foreign relations of the United States
    Foreign relations of the United States
    The United States has formal diplomatic relations with most nations. The United States federal statutes relating to foreign relations can be found in Title 22 of the United States Code.-Pacific:-Americas:-Caribbean:...

  • Foreign relations of Turkey
    Foreign relations of Turkey
    Foreign relations of the Republic of Turkey are the Turkish government's policies in its external relations with the international community...

  • Invasion of Cyprus
    Turkish invasion of Cyprus
    The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

  • Turkish lobby in the United States

Further reading


External links