Policy & History


The U.S.-Turkey 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 the Republic of Turkey in 1927.  The Economic and Technical Cooperation agreement – signed July 12, 1947 between the United States and Turkey – advanced the relationship further.  The agreement implemented the Truman Doctrine and its policy “to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”  The United States condemned the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey, and the United States continues to emphasize the importance of the Turkish government’s adherence to policies and actions that build public trust in the country’s democratic institutions and the rule of law, as well as upholding human rights commitments.  Turkey is a key NATO Ally and critical regional partner, and the United States is committed to improving the relationship between our two countries.  It is in our interest to keep Turkey anchored to the Euro-Atlantic community.

Security Cooperation

Turkey is an important U.S. security partner.  Turkey has been a valued North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Ally since 1952.  Turkey was a leader in the Alliance’s Resolute Support Mission, continues to contribute to security in Afghanistan, and serves as 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 is engaged in intensive efforts to defeat terrorist organizations both inside and outside its borders, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C), and ISIS.  As a vital member of the Defeat ISIS Coalition, Turkey opened its military bases to the United States and Coalition partners in July 2015.  Since that time, Incirlik Air Base has been critical in the effort to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey contributes to international security alongside U.S. forces in Europe, the seas bordering Somalia, and in the Mediterranean.  Turkey borders Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, and is a key partner for U.S. policy in the surrounding region.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Although overall U.S.-Turkey trade jumped from $10.8 billion in 2009 to $21 billion in 2020, it remains modest compared to its potential.

In 2019, Turkey was the United States’ 28th largest goods export market and its 32nd largest supplier of goods imports.  Turkey is the 7th largest purchaser of U.S. liquified natural gas exports worldwide and an emerging regional energy hub.  The top categories of U.S. exports to Turkey include aircraft, mineral fuels, iron and steel, machinery, optical and medical instruments.  The top import categories from Turkey include machinery, vehicles, carpets and other textile coverings, precious metals, and stone, plaster, and cement. Reported U.S. direct investment in Turkey is led by manufacturing, wholesale trade, and finance and insurance.

Although not a member of the European Union (EU), Turkey has a customs union with the EU, which Turkey aims to update.

Turkey’s Membership in International Organizations

Turkey hosted the G20 in 2015 and remains an active and engaged G20 member.  Turkey is a member of NATO, 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 Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  Turkey also is an observer to the Organization of American States, a Dialogue Partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and a sectoral dialogue partner of the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN).  Turkey is a candidate for EU membership and continues working towards accession.  The United States is convinced that a Turkey that meets EU membership criteria would be good for the EU, and that Turkey’s efforts to meet those criteria are good for Turkey.

Bilateral Representation

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.

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