An anatomy of the transformation of the US–Turkish alliance: from “Cold War” to “War on Iraq”
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This essay examines the evolution of Turkish–US relations in three different time periods: the Cold War, the post-Cold War and the post-9/11 period. While the relationship was referred to as an “alliance” during the Cold War, established with a common interest to contain the Soviet communist threat, the post-Cold War period posed important challenges and transformed the relations first into an “enhanced partnership” and then into a “strategic partnership.” The post-9/11 period has put under scrutiny the viability of the strategic partnership as relations between the two countries have been going through a crisis with the war on Iraq waged by the United States from March 2003. The essay aims at analyzing the factors and dynamics behind this transformation in the alliance. It concludes that the raison d’être and the natııre of the Turkish–US alliance have undergone considerable change as Turkey has in time started to pursue a more independent and multidimensional policy. Relations, in this period, seem to be entering yet another phase and converting from a “strategic partnership” to “partnership for democracy” in the greater Middle East.