Turkey: An Inconstant but Important U.S. Ally

Nov 9, 2017 | 22:03 GMT

Washington D.C. and Ankara, Turkey

Washington will take care not to push Ankara too far away.



  • The United States and Turkey don't fully trust each other, but neither can afford to alienate the other, ensuring they maintain functional diplomatic, security and economic relations.
  • Washington and Ankara will remain at an impasse over certain points of contention as Turkey prioritizes national security goals that clash with U.S. objectives, and as the United States encounters legal barriers to adjusting its stance on Turkish extradition requests.
  • Even greater discord between the two countries lies on the horizon, thanks to Turkey's ties with Russia and violations of U.S. sanctions that threaten to implicate the Turkish government.

Among the United States' allies in the Middle East, few are as important -- or as fickle -- as Turkey. Lately the diplomatic discord between them has been worse than usual. In an effort to ease the tension, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim traveled to Washington on Nov. 7, kicking off a four-day trip designed to settle an array of issues. But despite his best efforts, there are few clear ways to resolve the two countries' enduring differences, or to address the new and complicated troubles that lie ahead....

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