Straddling Europe and Asia, the Republic of Turkey is a democratic and secular member of the G-20 with an almost entirely Muslim population. RAND has long studied Turkey's evolving strategic significance, including its role in the UN and NATO, its history as a U.S. ally in the Cold War, and its efforts to join the European Union.

Explore Turkey

  • Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shakes hands with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul May 9, 2011


    The Turkish-Iranian Alliance That Wasn't

    As pressures for greater democracy in the Middle East have intensified, Turkey and Iran have clashed more openly and each side has sought to expand its influence at the expense of the other, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

    Jul 12, 2012

  • A U.N. vehicle damaged by an angry crowd in al-Haffeh, Damascus, June 13, 2012


    Violence in Syria Intensifies as UN Plans Action Group Meeting in Geneva

    Violence in Syria has only intensified since the failed ceasefire, leading the UN to suspend its observer mission and prompting comparisons to the war in Bosnia in the 1990s.

    Jun 28, 2012

  • Report


    U.S. Air Force Engagement with Turkey on Energy Security Looks Promising

    Turkey aspires to become a key transit state for moving both natural gas and oil from the Caspian region and from the broader Middle East via pipelines crossing its territory. U.S.-Turkish cooperation on energy security issues offers a promising yet modest opportunity to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

    Jun 19, 2012

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Military's Role with Petroleum Is to Assure Security

    Energy purchases made by the U.S. Department of Defense do not influence world oil prices, making cutting fuel use the only effective choice to reduce what the Pentagon spends on petroleum fuels.

    Jun 18, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Turkey's Kurdish Challenge

    A Turkish failure to adequately address Kurdish concerns in drafting the new constitution could undercut its ability to act as a successful model for peaceful democratic change in the Middle East.

    Aug 1, 2011

  • Commentary


    The Turkish Chimera

    The Turkish model—with its emphasis on secularism and democracy—has obvious appeal in a region burdened by corrupt, autocratic, incompetent, and inefficient governments. But Turkey's historical experience and political evolution differ in important ways from Arab countries', writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

    Mar 23, 2011

  • Commentary


    The US Midterm Elections and US-Turkish Relations

    Some Turkish commentators have written off Obama as a lame duck and advised the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government to begin reconsidering relations in the post-election period. However, foreign policy played virtually no role in the election, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

    Nov 23, 2010

  • Commentary


    Building on Greek-Turkish Detente

    Greece's high defense spending has contributed to its economic woes. Improvement in relations with Turkey could enable Greece to cut defense spending and make it easier to rescue an economy on the brink of bankruptcy, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Charles Ries.

    May 10, 2010

  • President Barack Obama meets Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, April 6, 2009


    U.S.-Turkish Relations in an Era of Global Geopolitical Change

    Turkey plays a critical role in four areas of strategic importance to the United States: the Balkans, Central Asia and the Caucasus, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf.

    Feb 3, 2010

  • Report


    Timeline to Withdraw U.S. Troops from Iraq Is Feasible, but Combat Forces Are Needed for Elections

    The U.S. military can meet President Obama's timeline - one of three alternatives that are compared - for the drawdown of troops from Iraq, but sufficient combat force must remain to ensure a peaceful January 2010 election. Slower drawdowns are recommended for the regions most at risk of post-withdrawal conflict.

    Jul 21, 2009

  • Report


    Occupying Iraq: A History of the Coalition Provisional Authority and How It Failed to Secure Iraq

    The American engagement in Iraq has been looked at from many perspectives, from planning to invasion and the long ensuing occupation. The activities of the Coalition Provisional Authority and its administrator, L. Paul Bremer, are recounted in this study through interviews with policymakers, former officials' memoirs, journalists' accounts, and the nearly 100,000 never-before-released CPA documents.

    Apr 20, 2009

  • Commentary


    Obama's Turkish Dilemma

    President Obama's visit to Ankara this week highlights Turkey's growing strategic importance to the United States - and a high stakes dilemma for the President and for U.S. strategic interests, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

    Apr 6, 2009

  • Commentary


    Turkey's Second Chance

    The recent decision by the Turkish Constitutional Court not to close the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) helped Turkey — and especially Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan — narrowly dodge a dangerous political bullet, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

    Aug 24, 2008

  • Report


    U.S. Should Rethink

    Current U.S. strategy against terrorist organization al Qaida has not been successful at limiting the group's capabilities. Since Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaida has been involved in more terrorist attacks than ever before, spanning an increasingly broader range of targets.

    Aug 3, 2008

  • Commentary


    Turkey's Broadening Crisis

    Turkey is facing a domestic political crisis that not only threatens the country's internal stability but could weaken its ties to the West and exacerbate instability in the Middle East, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

    Jul 25, 2008

  • Report


    Flexibility and Sensitivity to Local Concerns Are Crucial to Long-Term U.S. Security Relationships with Iraq and Afghanistan

    The United States is heavily invested – diplomatically, economically, and militarily – in Iraq and Afghanistan. Based on this, the United States must clarify its long-term intentions to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the surrounding regions.

    Jun 17, 2008

  • Report


    U.S. Has Long-Term Economic, Political Options to Help Make Iran More Democratic

    The United States should pursue a mixed strategy toward Iran, using a variety of means to promote favorable social developments within the country and at the same time exploiting vulnerabilities in the nation's political, economic and demographic conditions.

    Jun 16, 2008

  • Report


    European Forces Play Growing Role in Nation-Building, Peacekeeping Operations Worldwide

    Over the past few years, the European Union has demonstrated the capacity to deploy and employ armed force outside its borders in support of broader common policy objectives, creating a new player in nation-building operations.

    Jun 5, 2008

  • Report


    The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey: The Nation’s Role in Western Security Efforts

    While Muslim-majority Turkey may be the linchpin to promoting liberal Islam worldwide, relationships between the nation’s secular government and religious forces have shifted in the past decade, with implications for the future of Islam in the region and the world.

    Jun 2, 2008

  • man and woman working on computer


    U.S. Leads the World in Science and Technology With Help of Foreign Scientists

    An inflow of foreign students in the sciences -- as well as scientists and engineers from overseas -- has helped the United States build and maintain its worldwide lead in science and technology.

    May 7, 2008