In recent years, U.S.-Turkish relations have been plagued by significant difficulties and strains. The U.S. invasion of Iraq contributed to a sharp deterioration of U.S.-Turkish relations and a visible rise in anti-American sentiment in Turkey. 2More recently, differences over Turkey’s ties to Iran and the problems in Turkish-Israeli relations have created tensions in relations with the Obama Administration and raised concerns in Washington and other Western capitals that Turkey is drifting away from the West in favor of strengthening ties with the Muslim world.
Strains in U.S.-Turkish relations are nothing new. The U.S. withdrawal of Jupiter missiles in the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis precipitated a serious crisis regarding the credibility of the U.S.’s commitment to defend Turkey against outside attack. U.S.-Turkish relations also suffered a sharp downturn as a result of the 1963–1964 Cyprus crisis. The crisis prompted Ankara to broaden its security ties and reduce its dependence on Washington. The Turkish invasion of Cyprus in l974 precipitated an even more severe crisis. In response to the invasion, the U.S. Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey, which resulted in a sharp deterioration of U.S.-Turkish relations.