U.S. Secretary of Defense in Turkey, meeting on ISIL
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, met Monday with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, to gauge Turkey’s willingness to participate in an American-led coalition against the militant group ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. (Reuters) The Obama administration on Monday began the work of trying to determine exactly what roles the members of its fledgling coalition of countries to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will play, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel huddled with the leaders of the one country the administration has called “absolutely indispensable” to the fight: Turkey. More coverage from the New York Times here.
Decoding Erdoğan’s visit to Washington
By: Ian Lesser / German Marshall Fund of the US The visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the United States has been animated by the deepening crisis in Syria and its mounting costs for Turkey and the region. The nature of the security challenge facing Turkey was dramatically underscored by the recent terrorist bombings in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli, which claimed dozens of lives. The mounting cross-border instability, with no end in sight, will be difficult to suppress, or even contain, without close U.S.-Turkish cooperation. Syria may be the most pressing item on the bilateral agenda, but it is accompanied by a series of longer-term questions surrounding the future of U.S.-Turkish relations.
Erdogan back at the White House
By: Bulent Aliriza / CSIS On May 16 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets President Barack Obama on his first visit to the White House since December 2009. Obama has reserved much of his schedule for the day to his visitor, who has won three successive elections, recently celebrated a decade as prime minister and is brimming with self-confidence. The Turkish leader will receive a very warm welcome from his host that will serve to confirm Erdogan’s view of his country’s enhanced stature in the international community. At the same time, the encounter will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to once again display their much-publicized mutual affinity. However, there are divergences, particularly on the Syrian crisis, that they will attempt to resolve or minimize behind the scenes. To read the complete text, click here.
Secretary John Kerry's remarks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gave a joint statement on April 7, 2013. You can find the full video of the conference at the U.S. Department of State website here.
Coordinating U.S. and Turkish Policy on Iraq
By: Michael Knights / The Washington Institute As part of his first overseas trip as secretary of state, John Kerry will soon visit Turkey. Among other issues, the visit is a vital opportunity to better align U.S. and Turkish approaches to Iraq. Washington is concerned that Turkey’s burgeoning relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) could spark open conflict between Baghdad and Erbil. Yet U.S. and Turkish objectives in Iraq are strikingly similar, providing fertile ground for strategic cooperation if both sides can look past their tactical disagreements and focus on their common aims.