For of the bilateral relations. It includes

For more than seven decades Turkey was a substantial
and staunch ally of the US and NATO. In the past decade Turkey emerged as a
rising regional and global power and came to be seen as an important link
between the West and the East. There are two factors under which the
Turkish-American relations in general have always been shaped. The first is the
set of structural and institutional factors, which can be perceived to be the
fundamental dynamic of the bilateral relations. It includes those elements that
helped the survival of bilateral relations, despite different faced challenges:
Turkey’s membership and position within the NATO; her diplomatic and political role
stemming from UN membership; her relations with global economic and financial
institutions, the IMF and the World Bank; and the US sphere of influence in the
regions around Turkey. The second set of factors is those national and
international developments which influence Turkey’s foreign policy towards the
US. (ramazan gozen)

US interests in Turkey incorporate the
issues of strategic, economic, and regional political importance. Turkey-US
relationship has often been called as a “strategic partnership” and these cases
can prove this: Turkey played a significant role in the containment of Iraq and
Iran in the 1990s, as well as in supporting the stabilization of the Balkans
and in establishing the East-West energy corridor; it has been involved in the
reconstruction of Afghanistan after 9/11 attacks. In addition, Turkey was proclaimed
as an inspirational model for the Middle East and the Muslim World. Turkey is
crucial to American regional interests, with its active engagement in the Arab
uprisings and potential balancing and mediating role in the frozen conflicts of
the South Caucasus. Thus, Turkish-US relations are vital and have a big
importance to American interests in the post-Soviet space and especially in the
regions close to Turkey.

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The relationship is not merely a defense
pact. Turkey is the world’s 18th largest econo­my with its major emerging
market, growing
quickly and steadily over the last several years . It is also a vital energy transit state,
with its pipeline infrastructure, which delivers oil and gas to the Western
markets. To the United States and its allies this infrastructure is of
substantial importance to the close economic ties which serve as a base for
political relations.

However, Turkey’s foreign policy towards
the US has not been the same all the time and has shown different patterns in
different periods due to the reason that the relations between two countries
were heavily influenced by the periodic developments in third countries. In the
cases, in which both countries had common interests and perceptions, Turkey’s
foreign policy toward the US had been “good”; and, on the contrary, when they
diverged, the relationship had been “negative”. Thus, when making an analysis
of Turkey’s foreign policy towards the US, one should take into account not
merely their bilateral issues but also those situations and problems which concerned both
countries’ interests at the same time. (ramazan gozen)

the last decade, particularly, shifts in Turkey’s internal politics resulted in
changes in Turkey’s perceptions of its foreign policy roles; this change, in
turn, endangers common Turkish-US objectives in the ME, North Africa, Iran and
the Caucasus.

This paper seeks to examine what
Turkey’s new foreign policy strategy means for Washington by analyzing several
cases divided into two different parts: first-by focusing on the period of
Obama administration and the second-by examining Trump era.

Turkey-US relations under the president Obama

relations took a new stand after the inauguration of Barack Obama as a
president in 2009. Obama’s understanding of foreign policy, with the motto of
“change”, was aimed at developing more positive relationship with the Middle
Eastern countries, which differed from that of his predecessor Bush in terms of
geopolitical conceptualization and content. In the implementation of his
policy, Obama recognized Turkey as the most important actor in the region to
cooperate with and rely on. Thus, Erdogan government’s foreign policy perfectly
overlapped with the conjunctural conditions, i.e. Obama’s foreign policy.
Obama’s new foreign policy toward Turkey was described as a “Model
partnership”, whereas in the past, Turkish-American relations were
characterized by the concept as “strategic partnership” and this caused
ambiguity in the beginning.

There are five categories that explain the new
regional strategy of the Obama administration, each of which is closely related
to Turkey.(ramazan gozen) The first category is based on replacing Bush’s “preemptive
strike” strategy, which posed threats to US regional interests, by a policy of
multilateralism, diplomacy and dialogue. The second is to prevent Iran’s
nuclear program by diplomatic methods without resorting to the use of violence.
Third is to restructure Iraq after the withdrawal of American troops. Fourth is
focused on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by hampering Iran’s
influence over Syria and Hamas. Fifth is to gain Pakistan’s support to combat terrorism
in Afghanistan. Obama was aware that he could complete great part of his
strategy only through the means of collaboration with Turkey.

Ramazan Gözen claims that for Turkey, the Model Partnership was
crucial in three respects: first, in struggling with the PKK terror, in finding
long-lasting solution to the Cyprus problem, and in cooperating on energy and
other issues; secondly, it was important for resolving problems relating to
Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have a considerable
impact on Turkish interests; and third, in reestablishing peace and security in
the Middle East, Caucasus, Central Asia and Balkans.