More information about Turkey is available on the Turkey Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S.-Turkish friendship dates to the late 18th century, when the United States established diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire. The present close relationship began with the agreement of July 12, 1947, which implemented the Truman Doctrine.
Turkey has been a NATO ally since 1952, and an active partner in ISAF stabilization operations in Afghanistan, 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. On Turkey’s southeastern border lie Iran, Iraq, and Syria, proving once more Turkey’s strategic geographic significance.
The U.S.-Turkey partnership is based on mutual interests and mutual respect and is focused on areas such as regional security and stability, economic cooperation, and human rights progress. Turkey has allowed the United States to utilize its Incirlik Air Base for the transport of non-lethal logistical support for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The United States also stands in solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism. Counterterrorism cooperation is a key element of our strategic partnership, in concert with U.S. support for a political approach to security issues based on inclusiveness.
In August 2012, the U.S.-Turkey Interagency Working Group on Syria was established, which has further deepened our cooperation and coordination efforts.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and Turkey have a robust dialogue about economic issues, which is guided by the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC), established in 2009 by Presidents Obama and Gul.
In 2011, bilateral trade reached record levels, increasing by 35% year on year from $14.8 billion to $19.9 billion, with U.S. exports to Turkey up 39% from $10.5 billion to $14.6 billion and Turkish exports to the U.S. up 24% from $4.2 billion to $5.2 billion. Through continuous engagement, we are working alongside Turkish Government to deepen our economic relations through business development initiatives as well as institutionalized bilateral mechanisms such as the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, bilateral investment and tax treaties, as well as a variety of high-level dialogues, including the FSECC and Economic Partnership Commission.
Although not a member of the European Union (EU), Turkey is a member of the EU’s Common Market.
U.S. exports to Turkey include aircraft, iron and steel, agricultural products, oil, cotton yarn and fabric, and machinery. U.S. imports from Turkey include vehicles, machinery, iron and steel and their products, agricultural products, and travertine and marble. Reported U.S. direct investment in Turkey is led by the banking and manufacturing sectors.
U.S. assistance seeks to maximize Turkish cooperation with other countries, especially Afghanistan, and enhance the interoperability of the Turkish military with North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces.
Turkey's Membership in International Organizations
Turkey serves as NATO's vital eastern anchor, as it controls the straits leading from the Black Sea to the Aegean and shares a border with Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Turkey played an active role in NATO's Operation Unified Protector to protect civilians in Libya in 2011. Turkey also agreed in 2011 to host a radar system as part of NATO’s missile defense architecture.
Turkey is a candidate for the EU, and its primary political, economic, and security ties are with the West. The current government has also sought to strengthen relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors, and with Central Asian, African, and Latin American 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, G-20, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, 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.
Turkey maintains an embassy in the United States at 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 612-6700.
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