Author: Jim Zanotti, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs
Several Turkish domestic and foreign policy issues have significant relevance for U.S. interests, and Congress plays an active role in shaping and overseeing U.S. relations with Turkey. This report provides background information on Turkey and discusses possible policy questions and considerations for Members of Congress. U.S. relations with Turkey-a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally-have evolved over time. Turkey’s economic dynamism and geopolitical importance have increased its influence regionally and globally. Although Turkey still depends on the United States and other NATO allies for political and strategic support, and has close economic links with the European Union, its increased economic and military self-reliance since the Cold War allows Turkey relatively greater opportunity for an assertive role in foreign policy. The record of U.S.-Turkey cooperation during the Obama Administration has been mixed. To some extent it mirrors the complexities that past U.S. Administrations faced with Turkey in reconciling alignment on general foreign policy objectives with substantive points of disagreement.