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U.S. Policy toward Turkey: A Study in Double Standards

By Ted Galen Carpenter*

Washington, D.C.
January 1999

An attempt to identify the key principles of U.S. foreign policy might produce a fairly lengthy list, but three would almost certainly be included. First is the promotion of democracy, based on the assumption that democracy is a universal value, not merely the unique cultural prerogative of advanced Western societies. Indeed, expanding the "zone of democracy" was a major objective in the Clinton administration's 1995 foreign policy blueprint, "Engagement and Enlargement."1

Since then, Washington's official enthusiasm for the spread of democratic values and institutions has become even more pronounced.2 Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that the prevailing view within the U.S. policy and political elites is that, to be considered part of the civilized world, a nation must be a functioning democracy or demonstrably on the path to that status. The emphasis on democratic credentials is even more intense if a country wants to be a member of "the West" and join a Western institution such as NATO.

The second prominent U.S. foreign policy principle is an insistence that regimes around the world show a decent respect for human rights. Genocide or ethnic cleansing obviously has been enough to provoke Washington's wrath, as the hapless Serbs have discovered. But even lesser offenses, such as torture, imprisonment for political offenses, and blatant discrimination against religious or ethnic minorities, are deemed unacceptable behavior for any regime.

The third principle is a steadfast opposition to "aggression" in the international system. That was an important rationale for the containment policy directed against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Washington adopted that policy not merely because the Soviet system was odious and repressive--although that certainly played a role--but because Moscow would not respect the independence or territorial integrity of other nations.

Opposition to aggression was also a key justification for the U.S.-led military campaign against Iraq in the Persian Gulf crisis. Although other motives were undoubtedly present--especially (exaggerated) concern about preventing Iraq from controlling the Persian Gulf's oil supply--one should not dismiss the importance President Bush and other U.S. officials attached to the fact that Iraq had invaded, occupied, and expunged from the map another sovereign state. Bush and his foreign policy team concluded that allowing such an act to go unchallenged would set a horrible precedent in the embryonic post-Cold War era and might lead to pandemic instability.

Washington's emphasis on thwarting aggression is becoming a virtual foreign policy obsession. Moreover, there seems to be a steadily expanding definition of the concept. Serbia's assistance to Bosnian Serbs was considered aggression against Bosnia--even though the Bosnian conflict occurred in the context of civil war accompanying the breakup of the Yugoslav federation.

The current attempt by Belgrade to suppress a secessionist movement in Kosovo, which is part of Serbia's own territory, is considered "aggression" by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other advocates of a U.S.-led NATO military intervention.

Washington's Habitually Indulgent Attitude toward Turkey

As important as those three values supposedly are to the conduct of American foreign policy, however, U.S. policymakers have violated every one of them in the course of Washington's relationship with Turkey.

The Clinton administration's view that democracy is an essential requirement for any nation that wants to be part of the West apparently does not apply to Turkey. That inconsistency became graphically evident in the drive to expand the membership of NATO. U.S. officials emphasized repeatedly that, to be invited to join NATO, Central and East European countries must unequivocally embrace democracy.3 Slovakia's failure to do so under the leadership of populist prime minister Vladimir Meciar was the crucial reason that country was not invited to join the alliance in the first round of expansion. Slovakia was bypassed even though NATO's military planners saw a serious problem in inviting Hungary to join without including Slovakia. The latter's omission left a large hole in NATO's strategic front line and meant that Hungary would be cut off geographically from the rest of the alliance Doubts about the depth of Romania's commitment to democracy were a major reason that country (despite France's lobbying) was left off the roster of initial new members.

Yet, while the debate about NATO expansion took place, the Turkish military pressured the duly elected government of Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to step aside, or it would be overthrown in a coup. Turkey's military leaders objected to the attempt of Erbakan's Islamist-oriented Welfare Party to make religion a more central feature of Turkish life, especially in the educational system--marking a break with the firmly secular orientation of the Turkish state since its founding by Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk). Some military commanders may have been even more upset by Erbakan's cultivation of close relations with such radical Islamic countries as Iran and Libya.4

One can make the case that the social views and the foreign policy orientation of the Welfare Party and the Erbakan government were troubling. Nevertheless, it was striking that the U.S. response to the military's dismissal of an elected government in a current NATO member was hardly consistent with the standards that Washington was demanding new members meet. There were no stinging denunciations from the White House or the State Department.5 In fact, stories were leaked to the press that the United States was quietly supportive of the quasi-coup. Even when the new, military-backed regime pressured the courts to outlaw the Islamic Welfare Party--which had become the country's largest party in the last elections--Washington's criticism was perfunctory at best.6 (Banning the party served little purpose. It merely re-formed as the new Virtue Party.)

That was not the first time the United States had followed a blatant double standard on democracy with regard to Turkey. Washington "looked the other way" on other occasions when the Turkish military displaced civilian governments, most notably in 1980. But at least on those occasions it could be argued that Washington could not risk a breach in NATO by condemning the Turkish military, lest such a quarrel weaken the alliance and encourage Soviet adventurism. Moreover, during the Cold War the United States did not put the same emphasis on supporting democracy as a central feature of American foreign policy that it has in the post-Cold War period. Those two changes make the U.S. nonresponse to the dismissal of Erbakan all the more hypocritical. There was no Cold War strategic excuse for Washington's indifference about the anti-democratic practices of the Turkish military in the most recent episode. It was simply an example of flagrant foreign policy double standard.

Likewise, human rights concerns do not appear to be a U.S. priority when it comes to Turkey. Turkey's government has routinely jailed opposition political leaders, journalists, and human rights activists for daring to challenge current policies--especially if the critics have expressed sympathy for the plight of Turkey's Kurdish minority.7 U.S. criticisms of those actions have been exceedingly mild. (Compare that response, for example, to the vehement condemnations directed at the government of Malaysia for similar practices.)

Washington has largely echoed Ankara's assertion that the European Union's rejection of Turkey's membership application was a reflection of religious bigotry rather than legitimate worries about Turkey's human rights record, especially the treatment of the Kurds. The New York Times rightfully rejected such reasoning. "Turkey is being kept out of Europe, to its immense resentment and rage, not because of an ancient European prejudice against Turks, but because its government curtails Kurds' human rights on a broad scale."8 U.S. officials clearly did not see matters the same way; they went out of their way to assure their counterparts in Ankara that Washington placed the highest priority on ties with Turkey, even if the myopic EU did not.9

Even the Turkish military's 14-year-long campaign against Kurdish separatists rarely provokes adverse comment from the White House or State Department. (Restrictions on arms sales to Turkey because of that country's human rights record usually came about because of congressional mandates.) Indeed, the executive branch tries to evade congressionally mandated restrictions on ties to the Turkish military whenever possible. In 1997, the U.S. European Command's special operations branch conducted joint training exercises with Turkey's Mountain Commandos, a unit whose principal mission is to eliminate Kurdish guerrillas. That unit has been responsible for atrocities against Kurdish civilians and the razing of Kurdish villages.10

U.S. officials routinely excoriated the Bosnian Serbs for "ethnic cleansing" whenever Serb forces created flows of Muslim or Croat refugees. Washington's outrage led to NATO air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions in 1995 and the subsequent "imposed at the point of a bayonet" Dayton peace accord. More recently, the Clinton administration's outrage over the creation of refugees (and the killing of 500 to 700 Albanian Kosovars) during the Serbian government's offensive in its restive province of Kosovo led to U.S. charges of "genocide" and threats of NATO military intervention unless Belgrade withdrew its security forces from the predominantly Albanian province.

That reaction stands in stark contrast to Washington's attitude toward Turkey's treatment of the Kurds. The struggle between the Turkish government and the guerrilla forces of the Marxist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) has led to more than 35,000 deaths--mostly of civilians. Ankara routinely charges the PKK with responsibility for the bloodletting, but at least a third of the fatalities have apparently been inflicted by government forces. Human Rights Watch estimates that several thousand Kurdish villages have been heavily damaged or destroyed entirely.11 Yet such violence, on a scale far greater than that occurring in Kosovo, provokes no administration allegations of genocide or demands for the withdrawal of Turkish security forces from the predominantly Kurdish districts in southeastern Turkey. It goes without saying that there have been no threats of air strikes if Ankara does not take unilateral steps to halt the violence and turn over de-facto control of the region to the Kurds.

U.S. policymakers cannot even bring themselves to use the term "ethnic cleansing" to describe Ankara's conduct. The closest was the comment by an administration official in November 1994, expressing U.S. "concern" about the Turkish military's "campaign to depopulate Kurdish regions through the forced evacuation of hundreds of remote villages."12 The United States is not indifferent because the victims are Kurds. Washington has shown no reticence in condemning Iraq's brutal treatment of the Kurds--or Iran's, or Syria's. Once again, U.S. leaders use one standard to judge the conduct of most other countries and an entirely different standard for Turkey.

Even the loudly proclaimed U.S. intolerance of aggression does not seem to apply to Turkey. Evidence for that double standard is not merely Washington's anemic response to Turkey's invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the subsequent "ethnic cleansing" of the Greek Cypriot population in the northern portion of the island. That was an early sign of the double standard in action, but there have been numerous examples since then--including the notable lack of pressure to get Turkey to withdraw its forces from Cyprus. (Again, the contrast between the U.S. reaction to the Turkish invasion and nearly quarter-century-long occupation of northern Cyprus and the reaction to Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait is dramatic).

Consider more recent examples of Washington's placid acceptance of belligerent behavior by Ankara. There has been no criticism of Turkey's repeated incursions into Iraq as part of the war against Kurdish separatists Indeed, Washington has been quietly supportive of such incursions.13 Imagine what Washington's reaction would be if Serbian forces entered Albania in pursuit of Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas.

Likewise, there was no official U.S. criticism of Turkey's threats to use military action against Syria if that country did not expel the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalon and abandon its claim to disputed territory along the Turkish-Syrian border (specifically, the former Syrian province of Alexandretta, which Turkey seized in 1938 and renamed Hatay). The regime of Hafiz al-Assad may be odious, and relations between Washington and Damascus have been strained for many years because of Syria's support of terrorist groups, so there was understandably not an abundance of sympathy among American policymakers for Syria's plight. Nevertheless, Turkey violated an important principle of international relations by engaging in ostentatious saber rattling to prevail in a dispute with a neighboring state. Such aggressive conduct is precisely the sort of behavior that the United States supposedly is determined to prevent in the post-Cold War world. Given that policy objective, Washington's silence in response to Ankara's belligerence toward Syria is striking.

U.S. leaders seem reluctant to criticize Turkey's repeated threats to use force to prevent the deployment of the S-300 air defense missiles in Cyprus. To the extent that Washington has commented on the issue at all, the response has largely been confined to mild, often ambiguous, statements by mid- or low-level officials in the State Department. There is no sense of urgency about discouraging Turkey from committing a clear act of war against another sovereign state--even though an attack on Cyprus would almost certainly lead to armed conflict between NATO allies Greece and Turkey.14

In none of the three cases mentioned above has Washington even hinted--much less stated firmly--that acts of military aggression by Turkey would be unacceptable and would lead to a rupture in ties between Turkey and the United States. Why is there such a flagrant double standard? Why does Turkey get a free pass from U.S. officials when it comes to violations of democratic norms, serious human rights abuses, and disturbingly aggressive behavior toward neighboring countries?

The Reasons for Washington's Double Standard

The main reason appears to be the increasingly cozy strategic relationship between Washington and Ankara. Just as U.S. leaders (and most members of the American foreign policy community) regard the United States as the "indispensable nation" in the international arena, they regard Turkey as America's indispensable ally.15 Part of Washington's rationale is that Turkey anchors NATO's southeastern flank--as it did during the Cold War. Although that role was always considered important, it is now considered even more vital as the alliance increasingly focuses on "out of area" missions. Whether in the attempt to bring stability to the Balkans or to venture even further afield and have NATO undertake missions in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, as has been suggested by Madeleine Albright as well as former secretary of state Warren Christopher and former secretary of defense William Perry, Turkey is deemed a crucial player.16

In addition to viewing Turkey as NATO's irreplaceable southeastern anchor, U.S. leaders see the country as a vital conduit for Western (especially American) influence in Central Asia. That role has taken on additional importance as U.S. oil firms seek to tap the supposedly vast oil riches of the Caspian Basin. Ankara and Washington have engaged in a closely coordinated effort to control the Caspian oil supply and limit or exclude the influence of both Russia and Iran. The centerpiece of that strategy has been to build the primary pipeline from the Azerbaijani capital of Baku to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.17

The geostrategic importance that both the United States and Turkey attach to building the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline can be gauged by their determination to push that route even though it is significantly more expensive than alternatives and the Western oil companies are exhibiting little enthusiasm for it.18 Washington's enthusiastic backing of Turkey's position on the pipeline issue cannot be explained by economic calculations. It is clearly a case of a government supporting the policy of an ally for political and strategic reasons.19

The third reason for Washington's habitually indulgent attitude toward Ankara's misbehavior is that Turkey is viewed as the secular Islamic model to counter the growing influence of Islamic radicalism in the region. Ever since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Washington has desperately sought ways to stem that tide. The fear of Islamic radicalism was the dominant reason Washington was not unduly upset when the military-backed government of Algeria canceled elections to prevent a victory by an Islamist party earlier this decade. Even before that episode, U.S. leaders saw Pakistan as a secular counterweight, especially under the rule of General Mohammed Zia ul-Haq.

Such a policy has been little more than grasping at straws. Pakistan's supposedly secular rulers have increasingly embraced the social agenda of the Islamists. Algeria's suppression of democracy has led to a horrific civil war that has claimed at least 60,000 lives.

Washington still clings to the hope that Turkey will succeed where Pakistan and Algeria have failed as a secular counterweight in the Islamic world. U.S. hopes are especially high that Turkey can have such influence in the ethnically Turkish republics of Central Asia. Those hopes are misplaced. Turkey's economic, political, and cultural influence over the Central Asian countries is exaggerated.20 And Ankara is not viewed as a credible model by Islamic nations elsewhere. Whatever chance Turkey had to play that role--and it was a slim one at best--has disappeared with Ankara's decision to forge a highly visible strategic alliance with Israel. Furthermore, the secular model is under siege in Turkey itself, as the Islamists continue to gain political strength.

A Foolish, Myopic Policy

The strategy of making Turkey a keystone American ally is myopic and potentially very dangerous. U.S. policymakers have been down a similar path before--with disastrous results. During much of the Cold War, Washington treated Iran as an indispensable ally and an important stabilizing force in the region. President Jimmy Carter's infamous 1977 New Year's Eve toast praising the shah for making Iran "an island of stability" in a turbulent part of the world encapsulated long-standing U.S. assumptions.21 Washington had used the Central Intelligence Agency to orchestrate a coup to oust Iran's democratic government in 1953 and put the shah back on his throne. Thereafter, it appeared that the shah's regime could do no wrong in the eyes of U.S. policymakers. Not only did Washington ignore Teheran's massive human rights abuses, but it remained silent as the shah systematically suppressed democratic opponents. Washington's indulgent policy toward the authoritarian behavior of Turkey's military is eerily reminiscent of the U.S. policy toward Iran under the shah. We are still paying a steep price for the latter folly.

Perhaps even worse, Washington's incessant courtship of Ankara is giving Turkey an inflated sense of its own strategic importance. That courtship is also encouraging (one assumes inadvertently) abrasive, indeed aggressive, behavior on the part of Turkey. Turkey's assumption that it is Washington's essential ally could cause Ankara to provoke a war with Greece over Cyprus or over control of islands in the Aegean.22 Likewise, the perception of U.S. acquiescence, if not outright support, might encourage Turkey to seek a new confrontation with Syria or one of its other neighbors over some other issue. For example, Ankara has already imposed a brutal economic blockade against Armenia because of that country's armed struggle with Azerbaijan over control of the latter's predominantly Armenian enclave of Nakorno-Karabakh. A scenario in which Turkey might choose to escalate its coercion against Armenia is hardly fanciful.

The Clinton administration's pro-Turkish tilt is based on multiple misconceptions. One fallacy is that Turkey is an indispensable strategic ally. In reality, the United States does not have vital security or economic interests in that part of the world--especially when there is no longer the need to contain the expansionist ambitions of a rival superpower. In particular, the importance of the Caspian oil supply is vastly overrated.23 The world already is awash in oil, and given the rapid advancements in discovery techniques and extraction technologies, it is retrograde thinking to regard oil as a scarce and vital commodity.24 Unless the United States and other oil-consuming nations replicate their economically illiterate energy policies of the 1970s, oil prices (already nearing record lows in inflation-adjusted terms) are likely to follow the prices of other plentiful commodities to even lower levels. There is no need to support Turkey to gain control of the supposedly essential Caspian oil output.

A second fallacy is that Turkey's political system is stable and reliably pro-American. In fact, Turkey is a Potemkin democracy with an authoritarian military elite holding ultimate political power in its own hands. The country is also beset by massive corruption, a serious (albeit perhaps waning) secessionist problem, and a potent Islamist movement.25 Building U.S. strategic ties with such an ally is akin to constructing a fortress on quicksand.

Finally, the worst fallacy is the pervasive assumption of U.S. policymakers that Turkey is a stabilizing regional power that will help the United States to maintain a relatively benign status quo in the region. To the contrary, Turkey shows signs of being a revisionist--and perhaps an aggressively revisionist--power. Several of its actions in recent years--especially those directed toward Greece, Syria, and Armenia--are typical of a country that has ambitions to become a regional hegemon. Even its behavior regarding the crises in the Balkans, although somewhat less aggressive, is consistent with that pattern.

Washington apparently assumes that its policy agenda and Ankara's are compatible, if not congruent. But U.S. leaders must consider the very real possibility that Ankara may have ambitions that would be disruptive to the region and undermine U.S. objectives. Washington's indulgent double standard toward Turkey is objectionable on the grounds of hypocrisy, but there is a more pragmatic reason that it should be abandoned forthwith. By treating Turkey as an indispensable ally, the United States may be sowing the seeds of regional disorder and perhaps even armed conflict that might otherwise be avoidable. It is not America's responsibility to preserve peace and stability throughout the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, but Washington should at least not pursue policies that increase the prospect of tragedy.


* Ted Galen Carpenter is Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute.

1. White House, "A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement," June 1995.

2. Strobe Talbott, "Democracy and the National Interest," Foreign Affairs 75, no. 6 (November-December 1996); 44-56; and White House, "A National Security Strategy for a New Century," May 1997, pp. 19-20.

3. Thomas M. Magstadt, "Flawed Democracies: The Dubious Political Credentials of NATO's Proposed New Members," Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 297, March 6, 1998, pp. 23-24

4. Kelly Couturier, "Turkey's Military Gives Ruling Party 'Last Warning,'" Washington Post, June 13, 1997, p. A31; Andrew Borowiec, "Turkish Premier Yields to Military," Washington Times, May 28, 1997, p. A9; and Gereth Jenkins, "Erbakan Gives Way but No One Fills the Breach," European, June 19-25, 1997, p. 8. Not only did the generals force Erbakan to resign; they virtually dictated the choice of his successor, Mesut Yilmaz, by making clear that former prime minister Tansu Ciller was also unacceptable to the military's high command. Gareth Jenkins, "Yilmaz Backed As Military Isolates Ciller," European, July 3-9, 1997, p. 6.

For a discussion of the Turkish military's previous interventions to oust civilian governments and a perceptive evaluation of the likelihood of a coup against the Erbakan government just before the generals delivered their ultimatum, see Ben Lombardi, "Turkey: The Return of the Reluctant Generals?" Political Science Quarterly 112, no. 2 (Summer 1997): 191-215.

5. That mild, if not outright sympathetic, reaction was also reflected in the State Department's January 1998 report on human rights practices. It briefly noted that "Necmettin Erbakan, leader of the Islamist Refah Party, resigned as Prime Minister after an intense private and public campaign against his Government led by the military, with significant support from other segments of civil society which view fundamentalism as a threat to the country's secular republic." Emphasis added. U.S. Department of State, Turkey Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997, p. 1.

6. Typical of Washington's official response was the comment of State Department spokesman James Rubin that "no one should be surprised by our view that the closure of Refah or other legitimate parties damages confidence in Turkey's democratic system." Rubin prefaced even that tepid criticism by stressing that the United States had no desire to "interfere in Turkey's internal political or judicial processes." U.S. Department of State, Daily Press Briefing, January 16, 1998, p. 5.

7. In November 1998, Turkish authorities arrested the leader and some 120 members of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party for merely suggesting that the departure of PKK chief Abdullah Ocalon from his guerrilla camps in Syria was a "historic opportunity" for a solution to the Kurdish problem. One of the party's members reportedly was beaten to death while in police custody. Turkey's constitution, imposed by the military after the 1980 coup, forbids political parties to suggest that Turkey even has minorities based on differences of national or religious culture or differences of sect, race, or language. Amberin Zaman, "Turkey Hits Pro-Kurdish Group Hard," Washington Post, December 1, 1998, p. A18; and Leyla Boulton, "Embittered Turks and Kurds See No Way Out of Maze," Financial Times, December 2, 1998, p. 2.

8. "What About the Kurds?" editorial, New York Times, November 26, 1998, p. A30.

9. John Barham, "Washington Set to Sooth Turkey's Wounded Pride," Financial Times, December 17, 1997, p. 2.

10. Dana Priest, "Free of Oversight, U.S. Military Trains Foreign Troops," Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A1.

11. Human Rights Watch, World Report 1999: Turkey, p. 3.

12. Quoted in Alan Cowell, "War on Kurds Hurts Turks in U.S. Eyes," New York Times, November 17, 1994, p. A1. The administration conveniently fails even to get the numbers right; the Turkish military's campaign has "depopulated" thousands, not hundreds, of villages.

13. "Turkey Sends Troops to Iraqi Kurdish Enclave," Washington Post, November 9, 1998, p. A17. The November incident is merely the latest of numerous incursions over the past four years. The supportive U.S. attitude toward an even larger incursion in June 1997 is evidenced by the comments of State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns. U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing, June 13, 1997, pp. 5-6.

14. Stanley Kober, "The Cyprus Crisis: Trigger for a War within NATO?" Cato Institute Policy Analysis, forthcoming January 1999.

15. For an exceptionally candid expression of that view by a former Defense Department official, see Zalmay Khalilzad, "Why the West Needs Turkey," Wall Street Journal, December 22, 1998, p. A18.

Also see the statement of ambassador designate Mark Parris during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, September 23, 1997,; and the speech by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, "U.S.-Turkish Relations in an Age of Interdependence," at the Washington Institute on Near East Policy, October 14, 1998.

A discussion of the U.S.-Turkish relationship and the willingness of U.S. officials to overlook serious flaws in its ally's behavior can be found in John Tirman, "Improving Turkey's 'Bad Neighborhood': Pressing Ankara for Rights and Democracy," World Policy Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring 1998); 60-67.

16. Warren Christopher and William J. Perry, "NATO's True Mission," New York Times, October 21, 1997, p. A27.

17. For a concise summary of that strategy, see remarks by Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 2, 1998, text in possession of author. The strategy has received extensive and vocal support from several former officials, including former secretary of state James Baker and former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft. See "Unlocking the Assets: Energy and the Future of Central Asia and the Caucasus," Baker Institute Study no. 6, April 1998.

18. Stephen Kinzer, "U.S. Bid to Build Caspian Pipeline Appears to Fail," New York Times, October 11, 1998, p. A1; Stephen Kinzer, "Oil Pipelines from Caspian Lack Money from Backers," New York Times, November 28, 1998, p A5. Turkey's response to the oil companies' lack of support for the Baku-Ceyhan route was to threaten economic sanctions against two of the firms (Amoco and British Petroleum) and to issue more restrictive rules for ships traveling through the Bosporous Strait--thus making the competing routes less competitive. Leyla Boulton and Robert Corzine, "BP and Amoco Face Turkish Sanctions," Financial Times, November 20, 1998, p. 1; and "Turkey Sets New Bosporous Shipping Rules," Washington Post, November 7, 1998, p. A16.

19. Stephen Kinzer, "On Piping Out Caspian Oil: U.S. Insists the Cheaper, Shorter Way Isn't Better," New York Times, November 8, 1998, p. A10. For discussions of Washington's strategic and economic motives, see Ian Bremmer, "Oil Politics: America and the Riches of the Caspian Basin," World Policy Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 27-35; and Kober.

20. Even some Turkish scholars reluctantly acknowledge that the Central Asian republics are unlikely to reflexively adopt the Turkish model. The cultural and economic gaps are simply too great. Idris Bal, "The Turkish Model and the Turkic Republics," Perceptions 3, no.3 (September-November 1998): 105-129.

21. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1977 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1978), p. 2221.

22. Washington's pro-Turkish tilt has increased Greek apprehension about any U.S. role in attempting to mediate the Aegean territorial disputes. Thanos Veremis, "The Ongoing Aegean Crisis," Thesis 1, no. 1 (Spring 1997): 31-32. Turkey's actions in the January 1996 confrontation with Greece over the Imia islets suggests that Ankara might not rule out the use of force to press its claims. Krateros Ioannou, "A Tale of Two Islets: The Imia Incident between Greece and Turkey," Thesis, 1, no. 1 (Spring 1997): 33-47.

23. Martha Brill Olcott, "The Caspian's False Promise," Foreign Policy 94 (Summer 1998): 95-113; and Kober.

24. For a concise discussion of those technological breakthroughs and their implications, see Peter Huber and Mark Mills, "King Faisal and the Tide of Technology," Forbes, November 16, 1998, pp. 235-38.

25. The corruption problem is nearly as pervasive as it is in Russia. It was a major factor leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Tansu Ciller earlier this decade and similarly brought down the government of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz in November 1998. Amberin Zaman, "Turkey's Government Falls on No-Confidence Vote," Washington Post, November 26, 1998. For discussions of the political struggle between secular and Islamist elements in Turkey and Turkey's insecure sense of national identity, see Patrick Quinn, "Turkey's Secularism: An Institution under Fire," Washington Times, November 22, 1998, p. A8; and Berdal Aral, "Turkey's Insecure Identity from the Perspective of Nationalism," Mediterranean Quarterly 8, no. 1 (Winter 1997): 77-91.