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Turkey and the United States: Assessment and Prospects

May 12, 2017
Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center (ICC) Auditorium,
 Georgetown University, Washington DC

Event: "Turkey and the United States: Assessment and Prospects"

Friday, May 12, 2017

Time Topic / Event
12:00pm-12:10pm Opening Remarks
Sinan Ciddi, Executive Director, Institute of Turkish Studies

Issues in Turkish Domestic and Foreign Policy
Turkey is a complicated and dynamic country that finds itself amidst a swirl of political, economic, and security challenges important to its own interests and to the United States. Domestic turmoil and turbulence have been Turkey’s norm at least since 2013. Punctuated by the July 2016 coup attempt, the polarization of society is intense and deep, and democratic values seem to many to be under attack. Abroad, the country faces problems with its neighbors, and relations with Europe and the US are frayed. What critical issues at home and abroad face Turkey’s leaders and citizens? Looking ahead 3-5 years, what should one expect? What leverage do the United States and the West have in shaping Turkey’s regional and domestic priorities?



  • Gonul Tol
    Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Turkish Studies, Middle East Institute
~ Coffee Break ~
2:00pm-3:30pm Immigration and Migration in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey
Issues of migration, sovereignty, extraterritoriality, and international law affected the late Ottoman Empire, influenced its relations with Europe, and had impact on Turkish Republic policies that followed. How and in what way did the Ottoman Empire contribute to, negotiate, shape, and find itself shaped by international law, and how does this past affect Turkey today?

(Session participants contributed to a special ITS-supported edition of the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association on this topic.)


  • David Gutman
    Assistant Professor of History, Manhattanville College
  • Lisel Hintz
    Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Barnard College
  • Will Smiley
    Assistant Professor of History and Humanities, Reed College


  • Kent Schull*
    Associate Professor of History, Binghamton University, SUNY
~ Coffee Break ~

United States and Turkey: Prospects and Priorities
US-Turkish ties, formed in the Cold War, have been strained in recent years by such developments as the US invasion of Iraq, Syria's implosion, and the rise of the Islamic State. Clearly, perceptions have differed, policy priorities diverged, and frictions developed. The US change of administration provides an opportunity for both countries to reconsider. What are the prospects for US-Turkish relations? What domestic factors in both countries will bear on this? What issues will be determinative, what problems and complications are likely to arise, and what should be America's priorities at is deals with Turkey in a complicated, if not dangerous region?


  • Colin Kahl
    Professor, Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service and former National Security Advisor to the Vice President
  • James Jeffrey*
    Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and former US Ambassador to Turkey
  • Ross Wilson*
    Distinguished Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, and former US ambassador to Turkey


  • Birol Yesilada*
    Professor of Political Science, Portland State University

Closing Remarks

Reception to follow in the ICC Gallery

* member of the ITS Board of Governors.

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