The United States has to deal with a very different Turkey today than the Turkey during the Cold War. The disappearance of the Soviet threat has reduced Turkey’s dependence on the United States for its security and deprived the U.S.-Turkish security partnership of a clear unifying purpose. At the same time, Turkey’s geographic role and interests have expanded. Turkey now has interests and stakes in various regions it did not have two decades ago. It is thus less willing to automatically follow the U.S.’s lead on many issues, especially when U.S. policy conflicts with Turkey’s own interests. This does not mean that Turkey is turning its back on the West or the United States. Turkey still wants—and needs—strong ties with the United States. But the terms of engagement have changed. Ankara is a rising regional power and is no longer content to play the role of junior partner.
Obama's election represents an important opportunity to put US-Turkish relations on a new, more cooperative footing. On many issues especially those related to the Middle East -Obama's position overlap or closely coincide with those of Turkey more than the policies pursued by the Bush administration. This particularly true regarding İran and Syria, which should reduce the issues as irritants in US-Turkey relations. The critical question is what position the Obamas will take regarding the Armenian genocide resolution which is likely to be reintroduced in Congress in 2009. Passage of the resolution could deal a severe blow to prospects for putting US-Turkish relations on a new, more stable looting as well as undermine recent efforts at promoting Turkish-Armenian reconciliation that have oppened up since presidents Gul's historic vist to Yerevan in September.