Turkish-American relations are experiencing the heavy burden of Washington's alliance with the People's Protection Units (YPG), as the YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist group, which Turkey has been struggling against for the last four decades. This vision will not change any time soon despite Washington's denial of the PKK-YPG connection. There are many other significant obstacles to the normalization of Turkish-American relations but Washington's flirt with the YPG is the most controversial one.
Another important meeting in Washington between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to be held next week. The state of Turkish-American relations and the crises between the countries make this meeting more critical than any other to date between the two leaders.
Turkey initiated a large-scale Westernization project immediately after the declaration of the Republic. It had decided to follow the footsteps of the enemy it had fought during World War I and the Independence War. It introduced many political, economic, even social and cultural reforms during the first two decades of the interwar period. In the wake of World War II, the Soviet threat further paved the way for Turkey's alliance with the West.
From sanctions against Turkey to cooperation with nonstate actors, the U.S. establishment seeks ways to help the PKK form a statelet in the region