The U.S. and Turkey Go Their Separate Ways

Feb 25, 2018 | 18:11 GMT

The decline in U.S.-Turkish relations owes to a fundamental loss of trust.

The Syrian civil war has put an end to the ability of the two countries to work through their differences behind closed doors and find a mutually agreeable solution.



  • After flourishing for several decades, the strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey has reached what U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called a "crisis point."
  • The countries' diverging interests in the Syrian civil war have put them increasingly at odds over the past several years.
  • As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks re-election, he will continue to stand up to Washington to curry favor with voters, at the expense of his country's alliance with the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said what many analysts have long been thinking: The relationship between Turkey and the United States has reached a "crisis point." The two countries' strategic partnership has been increasingly rocky as Washington and Ankara take diverging approaches to the Syrian civil war. But more than protracted policy disagreements, the decline in U.S.-Turkish relations owes to a fundamental loss of trust. Visits by key U.S. government personnel -- including Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster just this month -- have only papered over the widening rift. Although officials on both sides reaffirm the alliance's value at every public opportunity, the challenges facing the two countries may now be too great to overcome....

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