This new issue brief argues that the United States should craft a realistic Turkey policy, given the current state of tensions over regional policy and the entrenchment of authoritarianism and illiberalism in Turkey. The piece contends that the trajectory of the relationship between the United States and Turkey suggests a need for the United States to focus on “transactionalism,” wherein the majority of bilateral talks are simply aimed at managing a troubled but important relationship, rather than waiting for tensions over US actions in Syria to subside.

Aaron Stein explores the current state of US-Turkish relations, examining tensions over Syria and the US partnership with the Democratic Union Party (PYD); US-Turkish military-to-military ties; key challenges for the Turkish military; and political-military tensions with different NATO and European Union members. The issue brief also explores the root causes of US-Turkish tensions and provides policy options to help manage relations.


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