Council Special Report

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Generating Momentum for a New Era in U.S.-Turkey Relations

Authors: , Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies, and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Alliance Relations (on leave)

Generating Momentum for a New Era in U.S.-Turkey Relations - generating-momentum-for-a-new-era-in-us-turkey-relations
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Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date June 2006

56 pages
ISBN 0876093608
Council Special Report No. 15


The emerging schism between the West and the Islamic world makes America’s relationship with Turkey—a Western-oriented, democratizing Muslim country—more important than ever.

Unfortunately, despite the long history of close collaboration, U.S.-Turkish relations have deteriorated markedly over the last three years. The U.S. invasion of Iraq—and the potential consequences for Turkey with its large Kurdish population—is the primary issue that divides Washington and Ankara, but there are also differences regarding Cyprus, Syria, Iran, Israel, and Hamas, as well as a rising tide of anti-Americanism in Turkey. To repair this important alliance relationship, Washington should establish a regular trilateral dialogue involving the United States, Turkey, and Iraqi Kurds; play a leading role in seeking a settlement to the long-standing dispute over Cyprus; be more active in supporting Ankara’s bid for EU membership; and work to create a U.S.-Turkey Cooperation Commission that would meet on a biannual basis to provide a structured forum for government agencies, NGOs, and private sector leaders from both countries to discuss matters of mutual concern.

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