MEI – Tensions in U.S.-Turkish Relations

This event is hosted by the Middle East Institute. Click here to RSVP.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
*A light lunch will be served*
The Middle East Institute
1319 18th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036

U.S. reliance on Syrian Kurdish fighters in the campaign against ISIS has strained ties between the United States and its ally Turkey, which considers the Syrian PYD militia to be an affiliate of the PKK, itself long viewed as a terrorist organization by the Ankara government. Turkey’s May 1 airstrike on Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq is the latest evidence that the two allies are working at cross purposes in this conflict. And while President Trump personally congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the outcome of the April 16 constitutional referendum, many now question how the emboldened Turkish president may steer relations with the United States and other NATO allies.

Erdogan’s May 16 visit to Washington may provide signs of how the two countries will address these issues. On the heels of the Trump-Erdogan meeting, the director of The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies, Gönül Tol, will be joined by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Jonathan Cohen (Dept. of State), Nicholas Danforth (Bipartisan Policy Center), Naz Durakoglu (Atlantic Council), and Alan Makovsky (Center for American Progress) for a discussion of the main drivers in U.S.-Turkish cooperation in the Middle East.



Jonathan Cohen
Deputy Assistant Secretary, European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Nicholas Danforth
Senior Policy Analyst, Bipartisan Policy Center

Naz Durakoglu
Senior Fellow, The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab

Alan Makovsky
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Gönül Tol (Moderator)
Founding Director, MEI Center for Turkish Studies