Reckoning with ‘new’ Turkey: Modes of US reaction to unwanted policy shifts in the Middle East

Michalis Kontos, Zenonas Tziarras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the changing relations between the United States and Turkey in light of Turkey's contemporary foreign policy that often challenges American interests. More specifically, it adopts a comparative approach to examine the variables that determine the course of US reaction when unwanted policy shifts take place in the Middle East. To this end, apart from Turkey, the article examines two more cases: US relations with Egypt in the 1950s, and with Iran right before, during and after the 1979 revolution. The comparative analysis reveals that the case of contemporary Turkey has been more similar to the historical case of Egypt, which explains why Washington has been adopting (and is more likely to continue doing so) a “wait-and-see” approach vis-à-vis Ankara. However, domestic changes in Turkey, though not as abrupt and radical as in Iran, remain significant and may have a deeper impact on US–Turkish relations in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-280
Number of pages19
JournalDigest of Middle East Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Iranian revolution
  • MEDO
  • Middle East
  • Turkish foreign policy
  • US foreign policy
  • US–Turkish relations


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