For decades the United States and Turkey have benefited from a dynamic, multifaceted relationship. President Barack Obama highlighted the importance of this partnership when he traveled to Turkey on his first trip overseas in 2009. Since then, however, the Middle East has undergone a profound transformation, Turkish-Israeli relations have deteriorated, Europe has stagnated under a financial crisis, and the situations in Syria and Iran have become increasingly volatile. Each of these developments has posed challenges for the relationship and raised questions about whether U.S. and Turkish strategic priorities may be diverging.
On December 4, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings hosted a discussion exploring U.S.-Turkish relations during President Obama’s second term. Panelists included: Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Ömer Taşpınar; Kemal Kirişci of Boğaziçi University; and Soli Özel of Kadir Has University. Brookings Managing Director William Antholis and Ümit Boyner, chair of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), provided introductory remarks. CUSE Director and Senior Fellow Fiona Hill moderated the discussion.