Memorandum to President-elect Obama, re: Turkey

Mark R. Parris
Mark R. Parris Former Brookings Expert

November 12, 2008


As your Administration undertakes the Herculean task of restoring America’s footing and leadership abroad, some countries will be able to help-or-hurt-more than others. Turkey has the potential to place high on either list.

Under your predecessor, US-Turkish relations have been chronically dysfunctional, punctuated by periodic near and real disasters. We have to do better. That will require prompt steps to correct conceptual and structural handicaps that have harmed our approach to Turkey for decades, but which have become acute in recent years.