2010 proved to be a difficult year in Turkish-American relations. The Gaza flotilla incident and Turkey’s “no” vote to a new round of sanctions against Iran at the United Nations Security Council, once again, triggered a heated debate about the “Islamization” of Ankara’s Middle East policy. The cliché question of “who lost Turkey?” maintained its relevance for most of the year. In the meantime, the looming threat of an Armenian genocide resolution continued to sporadically dominate the bilateral agenda.
Overall, American official circles that follow Turkey closely tend to display a sense of doom and gloom. The perception of an Islamist “axis shift” is real. Popular columnists, such as Tom Friedman from the New York Times, have now joined the cohort of those who share such pessimism. Yet, interestingly such pessimism tends to dissipate in the higher echelons of American foreign policy. There seems to be a less alarmist approach to Turkey at the level of the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and certainly the President of