Ömer Taşpınar was a nonresident senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe and is an expert on Turkey, the European Union, Muslims in Europe, political Islam, the Middle East, and Kurdish nationalism. He is a professor at the National War College and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He has held consulting positions at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in Washington, and at the strategic planning department of TOFAS-FIAT in Istanbul. The courses he has taught at the National War College and SAIS are: Islam and the west; non-military elements of statecraft; Turkey and its neighbors; and the political economy of globalization.
The United States and Turkey have different threat perceptions. Turkey's main threat perception - it's enemy No. 1 - has been Kurdish nationalism, terrorism with Kurdish ethnic roots. For the United States, enemy No. 1, since 9/11, has been jihadist terrorism. So up until Syria, the two countries were able to agree to disagree on their threat perceptions. But with Syria, there emerged a situation where the United States partnered up with the Kurdish terrorist group in the eyes of Turkey. And Turkey has turned a blind eye to jihadist groups in Syria by basically opening its border, and a lot of ISIS fighters entered Syria through Turkey. So this is a nightmare for Turkish-American relations.