By Richard Weitz (vol. 3, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst)
The drawing down of the U.S. military presence in Iraq is set to remove a source of tension between Turkey and the United States. The two military establishments, whose longstanding ties have been strained by diverging changes in U.S. and Turkish national security policies in recent years, are eager to avoid further public confrontations. But since the Turkish government has begun exploring new partnerships with former adversaries, Washington policy makers should not have excessive confidence regarding U.S. leverage in Ankara, despite the continuing close ties between their two military establishments.
By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 3, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
In a recent opinion poll commissioned by the BBC, Turkey was the only country in which negative attitudes towards the U.S. had increased over the last 12 months; while fewer Turks than before had positive attitudes towards almost every country about which they were asked. However, there was also an overall decline in negative attitudes towards other countries. Indeed, the most striking finding of the survey was the dramatic increase in the proportion of Turks who were undecided about, or indifferent to, the countries about which they were asked.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 3, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
One reason why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to skip this week’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made clear that he planned to raise the issue of Israel’s covert nuclear weapons program at the meeting. The Israeli government has long refused to confirm its possession of its widely suspected nuclear arsenal. One irony of this development is that Turkey itself is commonly recognized as having dozens of nuclear weapons stored on its territory. The most profitable non-proliferation tool in Turkey’s case would be to assure Turks that they will play an essential role in NATO’s security policies and that their preferences will have a major impact in shaping the alliance’s nuclear policies.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 3, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
By dint of geography and its strategic relations, Turkey has assumed a pivotal role in Europe’s future ballistic missile defense (BMD) architecture. The United States has been lobbying Ankara to participate in its program within a NATO framework, while Iran and Russia have encouraged Turkey to keep its distance from Washington’s BMD plans. Turkish officials have strived to balance these competing forces while leveraging them to advance Turkey’s own regional security interests.
By Richard Weitz (vo. 7, no. 4 of the Turkey Analyst)
The severe domestic problems of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are placing a major burden on Turkey-U.S. relations. His authoritarian tendencies and proclivity to blame everyone, including the United States, for his challenges has made it increasingly difficult for the Barack Obama administration to keep silent about his democratic and human rights setbacks. These challenges will likely only increase in coming months.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.