Author Biography

Aaron Stein is an Istanbul-based freelance foreign policy analyst. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of San Francisco and a master’s degree in international policy studies with a specialization in nuclear nonproliferation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Aaron’s areas of interest include nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction, and Iranian and Turkish politics. His work has appeared in Hurriyet Daily News, Today's Zaman, World Politics Review and the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Center for Nonproliferation Studies website. Aaron will start a PhD in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Studies at King's College next January.



Subject Area Keywords

Diplomacy, Ethnic conflict, Foreign policy, International relations, Middle East, Strategy


After nearly nine decades of benign neglect, Turkey has set about reestablishing its influence in the Middle East. Although most observers agree that the United States and Turkey share a number of overlapping goals in the Middle East, Turkey's recent rapprochement with Iran has drawn the ire of the United States. In tandem, Turkey's relations with Israel, Washington's closest ally in the region, have deteriorated rapidly following Israel's war in Gaza and the events aboard the Mavi Marmara. These coinciding events have further complicated U.S.-Turkish relations and have led a number of pundits in Washington to openly question Turkey's ideological orientation. If Ankara and Washington want to mend relations they should acknowledge that their disagreements are not about their overall vision or intention for the region, but over how to implement and carry out foreign policy. Both Ankara and Washington should do a better job of enumerating their long-term regional policy goals and engage in a broader dialogue to clearly transmit these ideas to each other, while working together to achieve them.