U.S. Relations With Turkey

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Fact Sheet
December 23, 2016

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.


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 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 continues to be steadfast in its support of Turkey’s democratically-elected government, and its democratic institutions.

Security Cooperation

Turkey is an important U.S. security partner. Turkey has been a valued North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Ally since 1952. Turkey is a leader in the Alliance’s Resolute Support Mission 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 also a vital member of the Counter-ISIL Coalition. Since Turkey opened its military bases to the United States and Coalition partners in July 2015, Incirlik Air Base has been critical in the effort to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey contributes to international security alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the seas off Somalia, and in the Mediterranean. Turkey borders 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 $17.4 billion in 2015, it remains modest compared to its potential. Through engagement in mechanisms such as the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation, the High-Level Committee, and the Economic Partnership Commission, we are working with the Turkish government to deepen our economic relations.

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 hosted the G20 in 2015. Turkey is a member of 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 (IMF), 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.

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