Turkey: Managing Tensions and Options to Engage

Source:Atlantic Council Date:03Nov2017

The trajectory of the relationship suggests a need for the United States to get acquainted with “transactionalism,” wherein the majority of the bilateral talks are simply aimed at managing a troubled but important relationship, rather than waiting for tensions over US actions in Syria to subside. The conclusion, of course, is the need to set aside the idea that the glue holding the alliance together is one of shared values, in favor of a narrow set of shared interests with potential overlapping policy prescriptions. To arrive at consensus with Turkey on shared interests, the US also has to acknowledge that it will take a significant amount of cajoling and meetings to find common ground on policy. This is the new reality in the bilateral relationship, and it should shape how US policy makers think about dealing with Ankara moving forward.