U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet: Turkey



February 24, 2015 – U.S.-Turkish friendship dates to 1831, when the United States established diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire. After World War I and the founding of the Turkish Republic, the United States established diplomatic relations with Turkey in 1927. U.S.-Turkey relations advanced further with the Economic and Technical Cooperation agreement signed July 12, 1947, which implemented the Truman Doctrine and its policy “to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”

Turkey has been a NATO Ally since 1952 and continues to be an important security partner for the United States and Transatlantic alliance. Turkey is a leader in the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, facilitates the transport of non-lethal logistical support for operations in Afghanistan through Incirlik Air Base, and represents NATO’s vital eastern anchor, controlling (in accordance with international conventions) the straits of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which link the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. Turkey also borders Iran, Iraq, and Syria, and is a key partner for U.S. policy in the surrounding region.

The U.S.-Turkey partnership is based on mutual interests and mutual respect and is focused on areas such as regional security and stability, as well as economic cooperation.

The United States also stands in solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism. Counterterrorism cooperation is a key element of our strategic partnership.

U.S. Assistance to Turkey

U.S. security assistance seeks to maximize Turkish cooperation with other countries, especially Afghanistan, and enhance the interoperability of the Turkish military with other North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces, as well as strengthen strategic trade controls and border security. The U.S. also seeks to assist Turkey in realizing the democratic aspirations of its citizens and provides grants to this end to civil society organizations.

Bilateral Economic Relations

U.S.-Turkey economic relations are guided by the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC), established in 2010 by Presidents Obama and Gul. Following the announcement of free trade negotiations between the United States and the EU, in May 2013 President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan established a parallel dialogue, the High Level Committee (HLC), as a forum for deepening U.S.-Turkey trade relations.

Although overall U.S.-Turkey trade jumped from 10.8 billion in 2009 to $19.1 billion in 2014, it remains modest compared to its potential. Through continuous engagement in the HLC, the FSECC, and Economic Partnership Commission, we are working with the Turkish government to deepen our economic relations through business development initiatives and institutionalized bilateral mechanisms.

U.S. exports to Turkey include aircraft, iron and steel, agricultural goods, oil, cotton yarn and fabric, and machinery. U.S. imports from Turkey include vehicles, machinery, iron and steel and their products, agricultural goods, travertine, and marble. Reported U.S. direct investment in Turkey is led by the banking and manufacturing sectors.

Although not a member of the European Union (EU), Turkey is a member of the EU’s Common Market.

Turkey’s Membership in International Organizations

Turkey is hosting the G20 in 2015. Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and a candidate for EU membership. The government has also sought to strengthen relations over the last few years with its Middle Eastern neighbors as well as with Central Asian and African countries.

Turkey is a member of the UN, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Council, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Turkey also is an observer to the Organization of American States and a Dialogue Partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Turkey is John R. Bass; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.

Turkey maintains an embassy in the United States at 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 612-6700. Source.

More information about Turkey is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Turkey Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Turkey Page
U.S. Embassy: Turkey
History of U.S. Relations With Turkey
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information

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