Turkey, as an active member of western international institutions, like NATO and the Council of Europe, has maintained close ties with its European and American allies since World War II. All parties have benefited from this strong and sustained relationship, especially during the Cold War years.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is attending the NATO Leaders Meeting in London on Wednesday, after a series of meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday. Following NATO's 70th anniversary celebrations, Erdoğan will inaugurate a local mosque in Cambridge.
NATO, a 70-year-old military alliance, faces new strategic questions. The challenges that the organization encounters are diverse. Russian cyber-meddling in Western democracies, China's move to buy European infrastructure, Washington's reckless effort to undermine the liberal order, the rise of populism in Europe, terrorism and the refugee crisis are among them. At the same time, there is the question of "what kind of ally" Turkey is.
NATO will celebrate its 70th birthday on Dec. 4 in London. The celebratory summit, which 29 world leaders plan to attend, is expected to be somewhat painful. The trans-Atlantic alliance, which has major accomplishments under its belt, is deeply divided over the diverging interests of its members.
Turkey and the United States are setting up a joint operations center at Şanlıurfa in Turkey under a recent agreement. That U.S. European Command (EUCOM), as opposed to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), commanders are involved in negotiations reflects both sides' commitment to the deal.