Turkey

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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.

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the attempted coup at the presidential palace in Ankara, July 15, 2018, photo by Umit Bektas/Reuters

    Report

    Turkey's Nationalist Course and How It Affects U.S.-Turkish Relations

    Jan 14, 2020

    America's longstanding partnership with Turkey, a powerful NATO ally, has become strained in recent years. The two countries' interests are not as aligned as they once were, and tensions between Turkey and Europe have exacerbated these strains. What can be done to sustain the U.S.-Turkish relationship?

  • Um Akram, a Syrian refugee, creates soap under Jasmine, a project which hires and trains Syrian refugee women to create handicrafts, in Amman, Jordan, July 11, 2016

    Commentary

    As Refugees, Syrian Women Find Liberation in Working

    Feb 19, 2019

    Syrian refugee women in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan want opportunities to work. But there are multiple barriers and challenges that limit them. Improving the chances of safe and dignified work opportunities for Syrian women in these countries could yield broad positive social benefits for both the refugee and host communities.

Explore Turkey

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    Report

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Report

    U.S. Should Rethink "War On Terrorism" Strategy to Deal with Resurgent Al Qaida

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Report

    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

  • Report

    Report

    Perspectives on the Current Political Climate in the Middle East and Policy Implications

    Experts convened at a conference in Switzerland to discuss the Middle East, an arena of prime strategic importance for U.S., European, and global security. Panel discussions focused on determining the political and ideological forces and related geopolitical and regional dynamics that affect stability in the region.

    Mar 26, 2008

  • Report

    Report

    Turkey as a U.S. Security Partner

    Turkey has long been an important ally, but Ankara is increasingly behaving more independently and assertively in ways that must factor into future U.S. planning for the region.

    Jan 28, 2008

  • Report

    Report

    United States Lacks the Capability to Counter Insurgency in the Muslim World

    Iraq and Afghanistan have revealed serious shortfalls in the capabilities of the U.S. to counter insurgency in the Muslim world. Instead of relying predominantly on military occupation, the U.S. must become more able to bolster the ability of threatened states to win the contest for the support of their people.

    Jan 25, 2008

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    A War of Nerves in Turkey

    A War of Nerves in Turkey in Project Syndicate (an association that distributes commentaries to 291 newspapers in 115 countries)

    May 12, 2007