THO’s newest report, A Review of U.S.-Turkey Relations in 2016, highlights key 2016 developments in the U.S.-Turkey relationship in the context of THO’s six core issue areas: security, humanitarian aid, economy, energy, education, and technology.
In 2016, Turkey experienced exceptional security challenges, including an attempted coup on July 15 and an increase in deadly terror attacks carried out by groups like Daesh, the PKK, and TAK. These challenges have compounded U.S.-Turkey relations, which have suffered a series of setbacks regarding disagreements and tensions over two major security issues: U.S. support of the YPG in Syria and Turkey’s request for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen.
Turkey’s security situation in 2016 had serious consequences for its economy, which contracted for the first time since 2009 and saw the lira climb against the dollar. Additionally, concerns about Turkey’s security prompted many U.S. government and academic institutions to suspend their exchange and study abroad programs to Turkey.
However, 2016 also saw progress on Turkey’s energy projects and in its technology sector. The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) is on track to be completed in 2018, and the Turkish Stream pipeline deal between Turkey and Russia was signed. Turkey also made progress in its renewable energy, ICT, and space technologies sectors.
As a new presidential administration comes into office in the U.S., there are opportunities for the U.S. and Turkey to resolve key security issues while improving relations through trade and education partnerships. The report ends with a look at major events to watch for in 2017 and areas of potential improvement in the U.S.-Turkey relationship in the coming year.
Please find the full PDF version of the report below: