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Turkey and America – Relationship Woes

11th April 2016

Turkey and America certainly have an interesting history and their relationship has gone through many different phases. Turkey and America where once on friendly terms but over time this started to diminish and while both countries governments have not been shy about their disagreements with each other the relationship between Turkey and America is still of vital importance.

The USA pressed to use Turkish air bases in its campaign against ISIS which Turkey did agree to, although many report it was a reluctant decision by the Turkish government. Turkey’s location because it borders Syria and Iraq is of high strategic importance to America and from a business perspective imports and exports between the two countries are certainly a valuable asset.

Early last week Turkish President, Recep Tayip Erdogan travel to America which really brought Turkey and America’s relationship into focus again. So let’s examine it in a bit more detail shall we?

Turkey and America

So are Turkey and America friends, allies or something else? Well it’s complicated technically America and Turkey are still friendly with each other and yes they could still be considered allies. But the relationship is definitely not on the friendliest of terms. 

President Bush was very complimentary towards Turkey when he visited Istanbul during his administration but just a few months later when the Iraq war began relations between the two countries notable suffered. And they haven’t really improved to this day and with the Kurdish situation in Turkey right now relations between the two have suffered even more.

A further blow to the relationship came just a few days ago on the 9th of April when the US embassy in Turkey published an emergency travel warning on its website. The warning advised against travel to many tourist areas of Turkey especially Istanbul and Antalya. 

The warning stated: "There are credible threats to tourist areas, in particular to public squares and docks in Istanbul and Antalya. Please exercise extreme caution if you are in the vicinity of such areas” The statement was announced only a day after Israel's counterterrorism bureau released a similar statement urging Israeli citizens to avoid Turkey saying there was “immediate risks of attacks being carried out in the country”

While the US embassies statement didn’t advise against travel to Turkey completely the release of such a statement will no doubt do more damage to Turkey’s already struggling tourism industry and may also be seen has ironic by some Turkish people because the American military are still using Turkish airbases for raids in Iraq and Syria.  

American Visitors – What can we Expect?

American tourists might be reading this thinking Turkey won’t be the best place for them to visit due to the difficult relationship between the two countries. But don’t worry while the majority of Turkish people might not be overly found of America’s foreign policies that doesn’t mean they have no love for American people.

Millions of Americans visit Turkey every year without issue and in fact many American entertainment programs are quite successful and popular in Turkey so there’s certainly a love for American culture and people. So any soon to be visitors from America don’t worry you’ll be welcomed into Turkey without issue.

No one can really predict what the future of Turkey and America’s relationship will be, who knows after all the hardships the relationship between the two countries might actually grow to be stronger in the end.

Written by David Varty - YellAli Content Team

Turkish Residence Permit


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