A Transatlantic Future?
Towards the end of the Bush presidency, Pew Global Attitudes Project findings suggested that only 12% of Turks view the US favorably, fewer than the number favoring Saudi Arabia, Iran or Pakistan, thereby identifying Turks as the most anti-American population of those polled.2 Indeed, Turkish antiAmericanism emerged as a threat to Turkish-US relations in its own right, and much of it can be traced back to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and events in Iraq since.3 An intensified Turkish nationalism4 frequently combines with an emotionally charged approach to the US5 to inflate the negative impact of any Turkish-US policy difference. As former US ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris expressed it, the Bush administration left US relations with Turkey ‘worse than he found them’.6 This was despite the attempt in the second Bush term to redress the ‘deferred maintenance’7 from which US-Turkish relations had been suffering since the mutual misunderstandings and the mishandling of policies (by both sides) that accompanied the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.8
The efforts to improve the relationship were not without substance. In July 2006 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and then Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul initiated the ‘Shared Vision and Structured Dialogue to Advance the Turkish-American Strategic Partnership’, referring to the shared ideals and objectives of the two allies and instituting regular bilateral meetings to ensure cooperation.9 In December 2005 a new US ambassador to Tur-