Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Jim Zanotti Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs April 23, 2013 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R41368 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Summary Several Turkish domestic and foreign policy issues have significant relevance for U.S. interests, and Congress plays an active role in shaping and overseeing U.S. relations with Turkey. This report provides background information on Turkey and discusses possible policy options for Members of Congress and the Obama Administration. U.S. relations with Turkey—a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally—have evolved over time. Turkey’s economic dynamism and geopolitical importance—it straddles Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia and now has the world’s 16th-largest economy—have increased its influence regionally and globally. Although Turkey still depends on the United States and other NATO allies for political and strategic support, its growing economic diversification and military self-reliance allows Turkey to exercise greater leverage with the West. These trends have helped fuel continuing Turkish political transformation led in the past decade by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has Islamist roots. Future domestic political developments may determine the extent to which Turkey reconciles popular views favoring Turkish nationalism and Sunni Muslim values with protection of individual freedoms, minority rights, rule of law, and the principle of secular governance. Debate on issues such as the status of Turkey’s ethnic Kurdish population (including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization), the civil-military balance, the role of religion in public life, and press freedom could coalesce in 2013 around a popular referendum on a new constitution. This, in turn, could have significant ramifications for scheduled presidential elections in 2014 and parliamentary elections in 2015. Congressional interest in Turkey is high with respect to the following issues: • Working with Turkey in the Middle East to influence political outcomes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere; counter Iranian influence; and preserve stability; • Past deterioration and possible improvement in Turkey-Israel relations and how that might affect U.S.-Turkey relations; and • A potential congressional resolution or presidential statement on the possible genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey’s predecessor state) during World War I. Many U.S. policymakers also are interested in the rights of minority Christian communities within Turkey; the currently stalemated prospects of Turkish accession to the European Union (EU); promoting increased trade with Turkey; and Turkey’s role in the Cyprus dispute. Congress appropriates approximately $5 million annually in military and security assistance for Turkey. The EU currently provides over $1 billion to Turkey annually in pre-accession financial and technical assistance. Since 2011, U.S.-Turkey cooperation on issues affecting the Middle East has become closer, as Turkey agreed to host a U.S. radar as part of a NATO missile defense system and the two countries have coordinated efforts in responding to the ongoing conflict in Syria. Nevertheless, developments during the Obama Administration on Syria, Israel, and other issues have led to questions about the extent to which U.S. and Turkish strategic priorities and values converge on both a short- and long-term basis. Congressional Research Service Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Congressional Research Service Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Contents Introduction and Issues for Congress............................................................................................... 1 Country Overview ........................................................................................................................... 4 Domestic Politics ....................................................................................................................... 4 Economy, Trade, and Energy ..................................................................................................... 6 The Kurdish Issue ...................................................................................................................... 9 U.S.-Turkey Relations ................................................................................................................... 11 Overview ................................................................................................................................. 11 Bilateral and NATO Defense Cooperation .............................................................................. 13 Key Foreign Policy Issues of Interest ...................................................................................... 15 Israel .................................................................................................................................. 15 Syria .................................................................................................................................. 18 Iran .................................................................................................................................... 20 Possible U.S. Policy Options ......................................................................................................... 21 Influencing Regional Change and Promoting Stability ........................................................... 22 Arms Sales and Military/Security Assistance .......................................................................... 22 Possible Armenian Genocide ................................................................................................... 23 Bilateral Trade Promotion ....................................................................................................... 24 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 25 Figures Figure 1. Turkey and Its Neighbors ................................................................................................. 2 Figure 2. Major Pipelines Traversing Turkey and Possible Nuclear Power Plants.......................... 9 Figure 3. Map of U.S. and NATO Military Presence and Transport Routes in Turkey ................. 14 Tables Table 1. Parties in Turkey’s Parliament ........................................................................................... 5 Table 2. U.S. Merchandise Trade with Turkey ................................................................................ 7 Table 3. U.S. Foreign Assistance to Turkey ................................................................................... 14 Appendixes Appendix A. Profiles of Key Figures in Turkey ............................................................................ 26 Appendix B. List of Selected Turkish-Related Organizations in the United States....................... 29 Appendix C. General Background Information ............................................................................. 30 Appendix D. Additional Foreign Policy Issues of U.S. Interest .................................................... 35 Appendix E. Congressional Committee Reports of Armenian Genocide-Related Proposed Resolutions ................................................................................................................................. 41 Congressional Research Service Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Contacts Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 41 Congressional Research Service Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Introduction and Issues for Congress As global challenges to U.S. interests have changed over time, U.S. relations with Turkey—an important ally since the Cold War era—have evolved. Congress appropriates relatively small amounts of military and security assistance for Turkey compared with past sums, but still plays an active role in shaping and overseeing U.S. relations with Turkey. Several Turkish domestic and foreign policy issues have significant relevance for U.S. interests. Turkey in Brief Population: 75,627,384 (2012 est.) Area: 783,562 sq km (302,535 sq. mi., slightly larger than Texas) Most Populous Cities: Istanbul 13.85 mil., Ankara 4.97 mil., Izmir 4.01 mil., Bursa 2.69 mil., Adana 2.13 mil. (2012 est.) Ethnic Groups: Turks 70%-75%; Kurds 18%; Other minorities 7%-12% (2008 est.) Religion: Muslim 99.8% (Sunni 75%88%, Alevi 12%-25%), Others (mainly Christian and Jewish) 0.2% Since the 1980s, Turkey has experienced fundamental internal change—particularly Literacy: 87% (male 95%, female 80%) the economic empowerment of a middle (2004 est.) class from its Anatolian heartland that % of Population 14 or 24.9% (2012 est.) emphasizes Sunni Muslim values. This Younger: change has helped fuel continuing political GDP Per Capita: $10,504 ($15,066 at transformation led in the past decade by purchasing power parity) Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, (2012 est.) President Abdullah Gul, and Foreign Real GDP Growth: 2.2% (2012 est.) Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (all of whom are profiled in Appendix A). They all come Inflation: 7.3% (March 2013 est.) from the Islamic-leaning Justice and Unemployment: 10.1% (December 2012 est.) Development Party (known by its Turkish Budget Deficit: 2.0% (2012 est.) acronym, AKP, or Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi), which first came to power in External Debt as % of 36.8% (2012 est.) GDP: elections in 2002. For decades, the Turkish republic relied upon its military, judiciary, Current Account and other bastions of its Kemalist (a term (Trade) Deficit as % of 8.2% (2012 est.) GDP: inspired by Turkey’s republican founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk) “secular elite” to Sources: Turkish Statistical Institute; Economist Intelligence protect it from political and ideological Unit; Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook. extremes—sacrificing at least some of its democratic vitality in the process. Through a series of elections, popular referenda, court decisions, and other political developments within the existing constitutional order, Turkey has changed into a more civilian-led system that increasingly reflects the new middle class’s dedication to market economics and conservative values. Congressional Research Service 1 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Figure 1. Turkey and Its Neighbors Source: CRS Graphics. CRS-2 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Turkey’s internal transformation has helped to drive increased engagement and influence within its own region. At the same time, its leaders have tried to maintain Turkey’s traditional alliances and economic partnerships with Western nations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU), routinely asserting that Turkey’s location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and its increasing soft power provides it and its allies with “strategic depth.”1 Thus, the geopolitical importance of Turkey for the United States is now intertwined with its importance as an ally and symbol—politically, culturally, economically, and religiously. Turkey’s continued regional influence could depend on its maintaining the robust economic growth from its past decade that has led to its having the world’s 16th-largest economy. Gauging how U.S. and Turkish interests coincide has become increasingly complicated and dynamic. U.S.-Turkey closeness on issues affecting the Middle East has increased since 2011 because • Turkish leaders perceive a need for U.S. help to encourage regional democratic transition while countering actors with the potential to undermine internal Turkish and regional stability—including the Iranian and Syrian regimes and terrorists from Turkey’s own ethnic Kurdish population; and • The United States may be more dependent on its alliance with Turkey to forward U.S. interests in the region because of the recent end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq and other possible future reductions in its Middle East footprint. These factors have led to frequent high-level U.S.-Turkey consultation on developments in Syria and the broader region. In addition, U.S. officials reportedly interpreted Turkey’s agreement in September 2011 to host a U.S. early warning radar as part of a NATO missile defense system for Europe2 as a critical sign of Turkey’s interest in continued strategic cooperation with Washington. During the previous year, some U.S. and European policymakers and analysts had voiced concern about Turkey’s reliability as a bilateral and NATO ally owing to its active opposition to United Nations sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program and its deteriorating relationship with Israel.3 Congressional interest in Turkey is high with respect to the following issues and questions: • Addressing Regional Change in the Greater Middle East: Will Turkey’s policies and actions be reconcilable with U.S. interests in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Afghanistan with regard to political and material support for populations, opposition movements, and transitional governments; 1 See Ahmet Davutoglu, “Principles of Turkish Foreign Policy and Regional Political Structuring,” International Policy and Leadership Institute and Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), Turkey Policy Brief Series, 2012 – Third Edition. See also Gareth Jenkins, “On the edge – The AKP shifts Turkey’s political compass,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, August 2, 2010. 2 The proposed elements of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to missile defense proposed by the Obama Administration and a deployment timeline are described in a September 15, 2011, White House press release available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/15/fact-sheet-implementing-missile-defense-europe. This document explicitly contemplates the EPAA as a means of countering missile threats from Iran. See also CRS Report RL34051, Long-Range Ballistic Missile Defense in Europe, by Steven A. Hildreth and Carl Ek. 3 This was particularly so in the wake of the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, which took place in international waters under disputed circumstances and resulted in the death of eight Turks and an American of Turkish origin, but signs of deterioration predated that event. Congressional Research Service 3 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations existing and potential future sanctions against autocratic regimes; internationally mandated humanitarian and/or military action that includes or may include the use of Turkish bases or territory; and limiting Iranian influence? • Israel and the U.S.-Turkey Relationship: What are prospects for future TurkeyIsrael relations, especially given signs of improvement in early 2013? How might these relations affect U.S. efforts at regional security coordination? If TurkeyIsrael tensions persist, should they affect congressional views generally on Turkey’s status as a U.S. ally? • Armenian Genocide Resolution: What are the arguments for and against a potential U.S. congressional resolution or presidential statement characterizing World War I-era deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians through actions of Ottoman Empire (Turkey’s predecessor state) authorities as genocide? How would such a resolution or statement affect U.S.-Turkey relations and defense cooperation? • Rights of Non-Muslim Minority Religions: What is Congress’s proper role in promoting the rights of established Christian and Jewish communities within Turkey? Many U.S. policymakers also are interested in the currently stalemated prospects of Turkish accession to the EU; Turkey’s domestic political developments, including its Kurdish issue; promoting increased trade with Turkey; and Turkey’s role in the decades-long dispute between ethnic Greek and ethnic Turkish populations regarding the control of Cyprus. According to the Turkish Coalition of America, a non-governmental organization that promotes positive Turkish-American relations, as of April 2013, there are 157 Members of Congress in the Congressional Caucus on Turkey and Turkish Americans.4 Country Overview For historical background on Turkey and information about the Fethullah Gulen movement5 and religious minorities, see Appendix C. Domestic Politics Domestic Turkish political developments affect the country’s civil-military balance, its debate on religion in public life, the status of its Kurdish and other ethnic and religious minorities, and heightened concerns about press and civil society freedoms. Developments on these issues are in turn likely to help determine and influence who shapes Turkey’s foreign policy and how they conduct it. Various reports indicate that Prime Minister Erdogan may seek approval in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (parliament) for a popular referendum sometime in 2013 on a new 4 See http://www.tc-america.org/in-congress/caucus.htm. The Gulen movement is a multifaceted array of individuals and organizations in Turkey and other countries around the world. These individuals and organizations subscribe to or sympathize with the teachings of a former Turkish state imam who currently resides in the United States. 5 Congressional Research Service 4 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations constitution investing greater power in Turkey’s presidency.6 Most observers anticipate that Erdogan will seek the presidency in Turkey’s first direct presidential elections7—scheduled for the fall of 2014. Local elections, which are often used to gauge shifts in nationwide public opinion, are scheduled for March 2014—preceding the presidential elections. Parliamentary elections are to take place in 2015. Table 1. Parties in Turkey’s Parliament (Based on national elections held in June 2011) June 2011 Vote Members of Parliament Justice and Development Party (AKP) Leader: Recep Tayyip Erdogan 49.8% 326 Economic liberalism, social conservatism Republican People’s Party (CHP) Leader: Kemal Kilicdaroglu 26.0% 135 Social democracy, secular interests Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Leader: Devlet Bahceli 13.0% 53 Turkish nationalist interests Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Leader: Selahattin Demirtas 6.6%a 36 Ethnic Kurdish interests, social democracy Party General Orientation Source: Supreme Electoral Board of Turkey, Parties and Elections in Europe Website a. This is the percentage vote figure for the 61 BDP members who ran in the election as independents for individual geographic constituencies, as described in footnote 28. Domestic and international observers have raised concerns about Erdogan’s and the AKP government’s level of respect for civil liberties.8 Although infringement upon press freedom is of routine concern in Turkey, measures taken by authorities in recent years have been widely criticized as unusually severe and ideologically driven.9 These measures include intimidation and multiple arrests of journalists,10 Kurdish public figures, and active and former military officers, 6 The AKP needs support from outside the party to obtain the 60% parliamentary supermajority necessary to bring about a referendum. The constitutional commission comprised of the four parties in Turkey’s parliament has so far been unable to reach consensus on a draft constitution. 7 Previously, the Turkish parliament elected the president by secret ballot. 8 Council on Foreign Relations, U.S.-Turkey Relations: A New Partnership, Independent Task Force Report No. 69, 2012, p. 23: “In some areas, the AKP-led government has used the same nondemocratic tools as its predecessor, making it appear no more liberal than previous Turkish governments.” See also the U.S. State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2010. According to Reporters Without Borders’s 2013 World Press Freedom Index, Turkey is the 154th “freest” country out of 179 evaluated. 9 In February 5, 2013, remarks transcribed on the website of the U.S. embassy in Ankara from a press conference held there addressing the February 1 bombing of a U.S. embassy security checkpoint and several other issues of mutual U.S.-Turkey interest, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said, “The Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament, the President of Turkey in recent days have spoken to the outcomes from your judicial system that do not seem right to them. You have members of Parliament who have been behind bars for a long time, sometimes on unclear charges. You have your military leaders, who were entrusted with the protection of this country, behind bars as if they were terrorists. You have professors. You have the former head of YOK [Turkey’s Council of Higher Education] who is behind bars on unclear charges evidently relating to him upholding the law when he was a government official sixteen years ago. You have non-violent student protesters protesting tuition hikes behind bars. When a legal system produces such results and confuses people like that for terrorists, it makes it hard for American and European courts to match up. We are working to reconcile our legal processes in both countries.” 10 “Not So Free,” Economist, April 6-12, 2013, stating, “Turkey is now the world’s leading jailer of journalists. Estimates vary, but at least 49 are behind bars.” Congressional Research Service 5 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations often under a law on terrorism that many human rights organizations and international observers criticize for being vague and overly broad. Current concerns about media and political association freedoms are in large part connected with two national issues: tensions involving Turkey’s Kurdish population, and criminal investigations into the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer (or Balyoz) cases. Ergenekon and Sledgehammer concern alleged plots to undermine or overthrow the AKP government in the early 2000s.11 In September 2012, a civilian trial court convicted more than 300 active and former military officers in the Sledgehammer verdicts. Appeals to higher Turkish courts are ongoing, and could possibly reach the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).12 Many in the media claim that even if some of the anti-government plots were real, authorities with pro-AKP leanings or sympathies for the Fethullah Gulen movement13 have used the allegations to silence or weaken political and ideological opponents. Concerns about AKP overreach likely reflect anxieties among some Turks. They apparently feel unsure to what extent effective checks and balances exist on Erdogan’s charismatic and Islamic-friendly single-party rule given the weakening of the military and other guardians of the Kemalist order. Some observers express concern that Erdogan’s proposed constitutional changes would effectively abolish separation of powers. Economy, Trade, and Energy14 The AKP’s political successes have been aided considerably by robust Turkish economic growth that was set back only briefly as a result of the 2008-2009 global economic crisis. Gross domestic product more than tripled from the time of the AKP’s first electoral victory in 2002 to 2010. Growth rates, fueled by diversified Turkish conglomerates such as Sabanci and Koc as well as “Anatolian tigers” (small- to medium-sized, export-oriented businesses concentrated in central and southern Turkey), have been comparable in the past decade to those of China, India, and other major developing economies. The dependence of Turkey’s economy on foreign investment and exports has led to challenges stemming from the economic slowdown in the European Union—Turkey’s main trading partner. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, growth slowed from 8.8% in 2011 to 2.2% in 2012. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, however, growth is expected to be 3.5% in 2013 and around 5% for the subsequent four years— partly owing to a “moderate improvement in global financial and economic conditions”, and 11 The existence and validity of evidence for these purported plots is vigorously disputed in domestic and international circles. Gareth Jenkins, “Ergenekon, Sledgehammer, and the Politics of Turkish Justice: Conspiracies and Coincidences,” MERIA Journal, vol. 15, no. 2, June 2011; Sedat Ergin, “The Balyoz case is actually starting now,” hurriyetdailynews.com, September 28, 2012; Yildiray Ogur, “Listen, Balyoz is speaking,” todayszaman.org, September 24, 2012. 12 As a member of the Council of Europe since 1949, Turkey is subject to the ECHR’s jurisdiction. 13 For a description of the Gulen movement, see Appendix C. Many of the movement’s members and sympathizers are among the most vocal supporters of the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer prosecutions, probably at least partly owing to concerns about societal power dynamics and Gulenist perceptions of vulnerability, justice, and/or retribution involving the military and other guardians of Turkey’s secular elite. These concerns probably largely stem from the past prosecution of Fethullah Gulen, the movement’s spiritual leader, under military-guided governments. A series of events since 2012, public comments by Erdogan regarding the need for closure on the court cases involving the military, and the reshuffling of prosecutorial and other civil service portfolios reportedly involving Gulen movement members or sympathizers, possibly signify a rift between the movement and the AKP that could have future political repercussions. See, e.g., M. Kemal Kaya and Svante E. Cornell, “The Big Split: The Differences That Led Erdogan and the Gulen Movement to Part Ways,” Turkey Analyst, vol. 5, no. 5, March 5, 2012. 14 Michael Ratner, Specialist in Energy Policy, contributed to the portions of this section concerning energy issues. Congressional Research Service 6 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations partly owing to increased Turkish consumer demand aided by “cautious monetary loosening” from Turkey’s central bank.15 Structural economic goals for Turkey include incentivizing greater research and development to encourage Turkish technological innovation and global competitiveness, harmonizing the educational system with future workforce needs, and increasing and diversifying energy supplies to meet ever-growing consumption demands. Through monetary and fiscal policy and various regulatory practices, Turkish policymakers may seek to attract more equity and foreign direct investment inflows and fewer short-term loans and portfolio inflows. The former generally are accompanied by skill and technology transfers, while the latter are more prone to sudden reversal.16 The European Union is Turkey’s main trading partner by far, while the United States is Turkey’s fourth-largest trading partner (behind the EU, Russia, and China). Turkey is the United States’s 35th-largest trading partner.17 Though Turkish pursuit of new markets since 1991 has reduced trade with the EU (from nearly 50% to just over 40%) and with the United States (from over 9% to around 5%) as a percentage of Turkey’s total trade, overall trade volume with both is generally trending upward. Table 2. U.S. Merchandise Trade with Turkey ($ in millions) 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Exports 6,500 9,960 7,090 10,550 14,660 12,580 Imports 4,600 4,640 3,660 4,200 5,220 6,230 11,100 14,600 10,750 14,750 19,880 18,810 Total Volume Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Despite concerns by U.S. senior business executives regarding Turkey’s legal and regulatory system and other issues according to a 2011 survey, 65% of these businesspeople would be willing to invest further in Turkey. Additionally, 88% advocate more U.S. government engagement with Turkey’s government to “improve the investment, market access, and operating climate for US companies in Turkey.”18 Turkey’s importance as a regional energy transport hub elevates its increasing relevance for world energy markets while also providing Turkey with opportunities to satisfy its own growing domestic energy needs.19 Turkey’s location has made it a key country in the U.S. and European effort to establish a southern corridor for natural gas transit from diverse sources.20 However, as 15 Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Report: Turkey, generated April 19, 2013. See, e.g., Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Surveys: Turkey, July 2012. 17 Statistics on Turkey’s status relative to other U.S. trading partners compiled by U.S. International Trade Commission, available at http://dataweb.usitc.gov/SCRIPTS/cy_m3_run.asp. 18 American Business Forum in Turkey, Business and Investment Climate in Turkey 2011, October 2011. 19 Transatlantic Academy, Getting to Zero: Turkey, Its Neighbors, and the West, June 2010, citing Turkish government statistics. 20 The U.S. energy strategy in Europe is designed to work together with European nations and the European Union to seek ways to diversify Europe’s energy supplies. The focus of U.S. efforts has been on establishing a southern corridor (continued...) 16 Congressional Research Service 7 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations one analyst writes, “Turkey’s ability to effectively play the energy card to further its foreign policy goals is limited by the extent to which the Turkish economy itself is dependent on energy imports, particularly oil and natural gas from Russia and Iran.”21 Since 1991, trade with Russia as a percentage of Turkey’s total trade has more than doubled—from 5% to over 11%—largely due to energy imports. Additionally, a subsidiary of Rosatom (Russia’s state-run nuclear company) has entered into an agreement to build and operate what would be Turkey’s first nuclear power plant22 in Akkuyu near the Mediterranean port of Mersin, with construction projected to begin in 2016. Iran is also a major source of Turkish energy (see “Iran” below). However, in late 2011, Turkey and Azerbaijan reached deals for the transit of natural gas to and through Turkey23 via a proposed Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), with gas projected to begin to flow by 2018. The deals have attracted attention as a potentially significant precedent for transporting non-Russian, non-Iranian energy to Europe. Nevertheless, Turkey also agreed in late 2011 to permit Russia’s South Stream pipeline to traverse its Black Sea territorial waters to Bulgaria (from which point the pipeline is proposed to extend through the northern Balkans to Italy), reportedly in exchange for discounts to Turkey on purchases of Russian natural gas. (...continued) route for Caspian and Middle Eastern natural gas supplies to be shipped to Europe, generally through pipelines traversing Turkey. See, e.g., Tolga Demiryol, “Turkey’s energy security and foreign policy,” Turkish Review, January/February 2012; Transatlantic Academy, op. cit. 21 Demiryol, op. cit. 22 In June 2008, the United States and Turkey signed a 15-year “123 Agreement” for peaceful nuclear cooperation in line with international nuclear non-proliferation norms. Turkey is also a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has a safeguards agreement and additional protocol in place with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is an observer to—not a full participant in—the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC, formerly known as the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership) founded by the United States, Russia, China, France, and Japan in 2007. IFNEC promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy by helping establish reprocessing centers for nuclear fuel. Turkey is one of the regional countries that analysts routinely mention could decide to pursue its own nuclear weapons program in the event that one or more countries in the region, such as Iran, achieves or declares a nuclear weapons capability. Israel is generally believed by most analysts to have had a nuclear arsenal since the late 1960s, but it maintains a policy of “nuclear opacity” wherein its nuclear weapons status remains officially undeclared. For discussion of Turkey and nuclear weapons, see CRS Report R41761, Turkey-U.S. Defense Cooperation: Prospects and Challenges, by Jim Zanotti. 23 The terms of Turkish-Azerbaijani agreement specified that 565 billion-700 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas would transit Turkey, of which 210 bcf would be available for Turkey’s domestic use. Congressional Research Service 8 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Figure 2. Major Pipelines Traversing Turkey and Possible Nuclear Power Plants Source: Turkish Economic Ministry, adapted by CRS. Note: All locations are approximate. Among other countries, China’s share of Turkish trade is also increasing, with volume reportedly rising from $1 billion per year in 2000 to about $24 billion per year by 2011.24 Additionally, Turkey has actively pursued economic opportunities with many Arab countries in recent years through free trade and no-visa agreements. Continued political upheaval in the region could contribute to future challenges to Turkish economic growth and foreign investment. The Kurdish Issue Ethnic Kurds constitute 15 to 20 percent of Turkey’s population. They are largely concentrated in urban areas and the relatively impoverished southeastern region of the country, but pockets exist throughout the country. Kurdish reluctance to recognize Turkish state authority—a dynamic that also exists between Kurds and national governments in Iraq, Iran, and Syria—and harsh Turkish measures to quell Kurdish identity- and rights-based claims and demands have fed tensions that have periodically worsened since the foundation of the republic in 1923. Since 1984, the Turkish military has waged an on-and-off struggle to put down a separatist insurgency and urban terrorism campaign by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK, or Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan, whose founder, Abdullah Ocalan, is profiled in Appendix A).25 The initially secessionist demands of the PKK have since evolved to a less ambitious goal of greater cultural and political autonomy. 24 Gokhan Bacik, “Envisioning the Asia-Pacific Century: Turkey between the United States and China,” On Turkey, German Marshall Fund of the United States, December 8, 2011. 25 In footnote 2 of a September 2011 report, the International Crisis Group stated that Turkish government figures estimate that 11,700 Turks have been killed since fighting began in the early 1980s. This figure includes Turkish security personnel of various types and Turkish civilians (including Turkish Kurds who are judged not to have been PKK combatants). The same report states that Turkish estimates of PKK dead during the same time period run from 30,000 to 40,000. International Crisis Group, Turkey: Ending the PKK Insurgency, Europe Report No. 213, September 20, 2011. Congressional Research Service 9 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations The struggle between Turkish authorities and the PKK was most intense during the 1990s, but resumed in 2003 after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, following an intervening lull. According to the U.S. government, the PKK partially finances its activities through criminal activities, including its operation of a Europe-wide drug trafficking network.26 The PKK has used safe havens in northern Iraq to coordinate and launch attacks at various points since the end of the 1991 Gulf War. Amid internal conflict in Syria since 2011, the PKK’s Syrian sister organization, the Democratic Union of Syria (PYD), has gained a measure of control over a swath of Kurdishpopulated territory near Syria’s border with Turkey. This raises questions for Turkey about the possibility of another base of support for PKK training, leadership, and operations.27 Turkey’s AKP government has acknowledged that the integration of Kurds into Turkish society will require political, cultural, and economic development approaches in addition to the more traditional security-based approach. The Turkish military’s approach to neutralizing the PKK has been routinely criticized by Western governments and human rights organizations for being overly hard on ethnic Kurds—thousands have been imprisoned for PKK involvement or sympathies and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. PKK Designations by U.S. Government Designation Year Foreign Terrorist Organization 1997 Specially Designated Global Terrorist 2001 Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker 2008 The AKP has a sizeable constituency in rural Kurdish areas because of its appeal to traditional values. By appealing to common Islamic identity, Erdogan and other government ministers have moved away from the state’s past unwillingness to acknowledge the multiethnic nature of Turkey’s citizenry. The government has adopted some measures allowing greater use of Kurdish languages in education, election campaigns, and the media.28 Nevertheless, government statements or efforts until late 2012 that were aimed at giving greater rights to Kurds and greater normalized status to Kurdish nationalist leaders and former militants were politically undermined by upswings in violence and public manifestations of nationalist pride among ethnic Turks and 26 U.S. Treasury Department Press Release, “Five PKK Leaders Designated Narcotics Traffickers,” April 20, 2011. However, northern Syria’s more open terrain and comparably small and dispersed Kurdish population may make it a less plausible base of operations than Iraq. Some observers have speculated that the Asad regime and Iran entered into an informal partnership of convenience with the PKK in retaliation for Turkey’s support for the Syrian opposition. Heiko Wimmen and Müzehher Selcuk, “The Rise of Syria’s Kurds,” Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, February 5, 2013. Syria hosted the PKK’s leadership until 1998, and historical and personal links persist among Syrian Kurds and the PKK. Media reports in early 2013, however, indicate that the PYD is cooperating with various Syrian opposition groups in de facto arrangements regarding control over the country’s northern areas, perhaps partly because of a calculation that the Asad regime has little or no remaining control there. See, e.g., Matthieu Aikins, “The Kurdish Factor,” latitude.blogs.nytimes.com, April 1, 2013. 28 Kurdish nationalist leaders demand that any future changes to Turkey’s 1982 constitution not suppress Kurdish ethnic and linguistic identity. The first clause of Article 3 of the constitution reads, “The Turkish state, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity. Its language is Turkish.” Because the constitution states that its first three articles are unamendable, even proposing a change could face judicial obstacles. Kurds in Turkey also seek to modify the electoral law to allow for greater Kurdish nationalist participation in Turkish politics by lowering the percentage-vote threshold (currently 10%) for political parties in parliament. In the 2011 election, 61 members of the Kurdish nationalist Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) ran as independents for individual geographic constituencies because of a calculation that the party would not reach the 10% threshold. These independents won 36 of the constituencies and 6% of the national vote. 27 Congressional Research Service 10 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations ethnic Kurds. Many observers discerned a trend leading Turkish authorities and the PKK toward a period of indefinite violent conflict, for various reasons. These included (1) continuing upticks in violence; (2) waves of arrests of Kurdish public figures; (3) ongoing political stalemate on measures to provide Kurds with greater rights and local autonomy; (4) and political timelines potentially favoring a nationalistic, security-centric response by Turkish leaders.29 Despite these negative signs, Prime Minister Erdogan publicly revealed in late December 2012 that Turkish intelligence has been conducting negotiations with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in an attempt to get the PKK to disarm. In late March 2013, Ocalan and other PKK leaders declared a cease-fire, although its durability may depend on the government’s ability to persuade the PKK and other Kurds that it sincerely seeks to address the issues of key importance to them. Some commentators theorize that Erdogan has authorized the talks to bolster prospects for his election to the Turkish presidency and for a yes-vote in the constitutional referendum that may precede it (see “Domestic Politics” above). Other theories suggest that Erdogan may be trying to defuse potential PKK threats from Syria, or to take advantage of intra-Kurdish divisions and Ocalan’s personal desire for freedom. Observers express a range of opinions regarding the advisability and prospects of negotiations, as well as the extent to which Ocalan and the PKK represent Turkey’s Kurds. Yet, most observers agree that Erdogan’s public acknowledgment of the talks was a bold step that could mobilize broad public support for a deal, but also could greatly exacerbate the conflict if negotiations fail.30 In a February 2013 interview with a Turkish journalist, President Obama was quoted as saying, “I applaud Prime Minister Erdogan’s efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to a struggle that has caused so much pain and sorrow for the people of Turkey for more than 30 years.”31 U.S.-Turkey Relations Overview The United States and Turkey have enjoyed a decades-long alliance. The calculations that led the United States to invest heavily in Turkey’s defense and its military and economic development during the Cold War have evolved as the dynamics within both countries and the regional and global environments have changed. Another change has been Turkey’s decreased dependence on U.S. material support and its increased assertiveness as a foreign policy actor. At the outset of the Obama Administration, U.S. officials made clear their intent to emphasize the importance of a multifaceted strategic relationship with Turkey. In April 2009, President Obama, speaking of a “model partnership,” visited Turkey during his first presidential trip abroad and addressed the Parliament in Ankara. He said that “Turkey is a critical ally…. And Turkey and the United States must stand together—and work together—to overcome the challenges of our time.” 29 The International Crisis Group stated that the time period from the summer of 2011 until mid-August 2012 featured the worst fighting between the PKK and Turkish authorities since 1999, reporting that 711 people had been killed in that time—“222 soldiers, police and village guard militia, 405 PKK fighters and 84 civilians”. International Crisis Group, Turkey: The PKK and a Kurdish Settlement, Europe Report No. 219, September 11, 2012. 30 See, e.g., “The war may be over,” Economist, March 30-April 3, 2013. 31 Interview of President Barack Obama by Pinar Ersoy of Milliyet, quoted in “Obama ‘applauds’ Turkey’s effort to find peaceful solution to Kurdish problem,” hurriyetdailynews.com, February 10, 2013. Congressional Research Service 11 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations However, subsequent Turkish and U.S. actions and statements on issues relating to Armenia, Iran, and Israel revealed possible tensions between the United States and Turkey on values and priorities. A vote in March 2010 by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to report a proposed resolution (H.Res. 252) for consideration by the full House on the question of a possible Armenian genocide led Turkey to temporarily recall its ambassador. A number of events that followed—especially the Gaza flotilla incident and a U.N. Security Council sanctions vote on Iran—led some Members of Congress and Administration officials to openly question Turkey’s orientation as a U.S. and Western ally.32 They expressed concerns that Turkish leaders’ rhetoric and actions were (1) undermining a top U.S. priority in the Iranian nuclear issue and (2) at odds with the U.S. characterization of Israel as an ally and Iran as a threat. Turkey’s agreement in 2011 to host the U.S./NATO missile defense radar appears to have significantly allayed bilateral tensions stemming from earlier foreign policy disputes. The United States and Turkey also began cooperating closely in the Middle East—particularly in Syria—to promote democratic transition and prevent Iran and other actors from exacerbating regional sectarian tensions and security dilemmas. U.S. and Turkish approaches and apparent senses of urgency have diverged at times, perhaps partly due to Turkey’s greater geographic proximity to conflict areas and seemingly greater willingness to work with other actors espousing an overtly Sunni Muslim perspective. Additionally, according to a 2012 Council on Foreign Relations task force report chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley (the “Albright-Hadley report”), “public opinion polls in Turkey consistently reveal unfavorable impressions of the United States among the Turkish public.… This is a problem that can damage the bilateral relations, especially now that public opinion matters more than ever before in Turkish foreign policy.”33 Such unfavorable impressions, to the extent they exist, do so within a context of Turks’ generally low favorability ratings for foreign countries. Many U.S. observers have criticized Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu for perceived double standards. Erdogan has adamantly denounced Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip—sometimes referring to it as “state terrorism”—and has suggested that international sanctions against Israel could help end the stalemate in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Yet, he has met with Hamas leaders in Turkey and has dubbed its members “resistance fighters” instead of terrorists. He was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his disputed reelection in June 2009. Erdogan also has said in defending Sudanese President Omar al Bashir regarding allegations from Darfur and elsewhere that it is “not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide.” Even as regional upheaval since late 2010 has led Turkey to coordinate more closely with its U.S. and other NATO allies, Erdogan has periodically questioned their positions and/or motivations.34 Erdogan publicly supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while routinely criticizing the U.S.-led approach to the peace process in the international media. 32 “US official: Turkey must demonstrate commitment to West,” Today’s Zaman, June 28, 2010. Council on Foreign Relations, op. cit., p. 7. 34 For example, during a September 2011 trip to Libya, Erdogan criticized what he perceived to be Britain’s and France’s overly commercial interests in the country—despite Turkey’s own well-documented commercial interests in Libya and participation in and support for the 2011 NATO operation there. 33 Congressional Research Service 12 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Bilateral and NATO Defense Cooperation35 The U.S.-Turkey alliance has long centered on the defense relationship, both bilaterally and within NATO. With several challenges to U.S. national security emanating from the greater Middle East, Turkey is arguably a more significant ally for the United States at present than during the Cold War. Turkey’s location near several global hotspots makes the continuing availability of its territory for the stationing and transport of arms, cargo, and personnel valuable for the United States and NATO. Turkey’s hosting of a U.S./NATO early warning missile defense radar and the transformation of a NATO air command unit in Izmir into a ground forces command appear to have reinforced Turkey’s strategic importance for the alliance. For information on NATO’s role in supporting Turkey’s defense in light of ongoing conflict in Syria, see “Syria” below. Although the Turkish military remains a trusted national institution, its decline in influence in the last decade has led many observers to conclude that the military’s traditional role as the primary interlocutor for the United States and other NATO allies is in jeopardy, if not already obsolete. Changes in the Turkish civil-military power structure present a challenge for U.S. officials in adjusting future modes of bilateral interaction. It might lead to an approach that is more multidimensional than the well-established pattern some observers see in which the State Department and other U.S. officials rely on the “Pentagon to wield its influence.”36 The largest U.S. military presence in Turkey is at Incirlik (pronounced in-jur-lick) air base near the southern city of Adana, with approximately 1,500 U.S. personnel (plus approximately 3,500 Turkish contractors). Since the end of the Cold War, Incirlik has been used to support U.S. and NATO operations in Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. According to The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Incirlik also is the reported home of vaults holding approximately 60-70 U.S. tactical, aircraft-deliverable B61 nuclear gravity bombs under NATO auspices.37 Turkey maintains the right to cancel U.S. access to Incirlik with three days’ notice. 35 For detailed information on this subject, see CRS Report R41761, Turkey-U.S. Defense Cooperation: Prospects and Challenges, by Jim Zanotti. 36 Henri J. Barkey, “Turkey’s New Global Role,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 17, 2010. The challenge for U.S. officials to manage cooperation with Turkey could be magnified by the way the U.S. government is structured to work with Turkey. Former U.S. ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris has said, “For reasons of self-definition and Cold War logic, Turkey is considered a European nation. It is therefore assigned, for purposes of policy development and implementation, to the subdivisions responsible for Europe: the European Bureau (EUR) at the State Department; the European Command (EUCOM) at the Pentagon; the Directorate for Europe at the [National Security Council (NSC)], etc. Since the end of the Cold War, however, and progressively since the 1990-91 Gulf War and 9/11, the most serious issues in U.S.-Turkish relations – and virtually all of the controversial ones – have arisen in areas outside “Europe.” The majority, in fact, stem from developments in areas which in Washington are the responsibility of offices dealing with the Middle East: the Bureau for Near East Affairs (NEA) at State; Central Command (CENTCOM) at the Pentagon; the Near East and South Asia Directorate at NSC.” Omer Taspinar, “The Rise of Turkish Gaullism: Getting Turkish-American Relations Right,” Insight Turkey, vol. 13, no. 1, winter 2011, quoting an unpublished 2008 paper by Mark Parris. 37 Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, “US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, 2011,” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 67, no. 1, January/February 2011. Reportedly, the U.S. has approximately 150-200 B61 bombs in Turkey, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands left over from their deployment during the Cold War. This amount is a very small fraction of the over 7,000 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Europe during the 1970s. Ibid. Congressional Research Service 13 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Figure 3. Map of U.S. and NATO Military Presence and Transport Routes in Turkey Sources: Department of Defense, NATO, Hurriyet Daily News; adapted by CRS. Notes: All locations are approximate. According to CRS email correspondence with a NATO commander on April 5, 2013, remaining elements of the former Allied Air Component Command in Izmir—now subject to Air Command based in Germany—are scheduled to be completely deactivated in May 2013. The Incirlik and Kurecik bases are Turkish bases, parts of which are used for limited purposes by the U.S. military and NATO. Additional information on the U.S./NATO military presence in Turkey is available in archived CRS Report R41761, TurkeyU.S. Defense Cooperation: Prospects and Challenges, by Jim Zanotti. Since 1948, the United States has provided Turkey with approximately $13.8 billion in overall military assistance (nearly $8.2 billion in grants and $5.6 billion in loans). Current annual military and security grant assistance, however, is limited to approximately $5 million annually in International Military Education and Training (IMET); International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE); and Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR) funds. Table 3. U.S. Foreign Assistance to Turkey ($ in millions) Account International Military Education and Training (IMET) International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) FY2010 5.0 — FY2011 FY2012 4.0 4.0 0.5 0.5 FY2013 Requesta 3.6 — Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining, and Related Programs (NADR) 3.0 1.4 1.1 0.9 Total 8.0 5.9 5.6 4.7 Congressional Research Service 14 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Source: U.S. Department of State. Note: All amounts are approximate. a. Actual amounts of U.S. assistance to Turkey for FY2013 cannot be provided with precision. Any FY2013 assistance is subject to continuing resolution authority and budget sequestration as set forth in the following legal authorities (and regulations and guidelines promulgated thereunder): The Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25), as amended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-240/H.R. 8); and the Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6/H.R. 933). Key Foreign Policy Issues of Interest For information and analysis of foreign policy issues other than the ones below (including Turkey’s regional stance, Iraq, Cyprus, Armenia, Afghanistan, European Union, and others), see Appendix D. Israel In the 1990s and early 2000s, Turkey and Israel enjoyed close military ties that fostered cooperation in other areas, including a free trade agreement signed in 2000. In recent years, however, Turkey-Israel relations have worsened. This downturn can be attributed to a number of factors, ranging from Turkish domestic political changes to specific incidents that increased tensions. In terms of change within Turkey, the slide in Turkey-Israel relations reflected the military’s declining role in Turkish society, and the greater empowerment of Prime Minister Erdogan and other AKP and national leaders. These leaders seem to view criticism of Israel as both merited and popular domestically and regionally. They often characterize Israeli security measures in the West Bank and especially the Gaza Strip as institutionalized mistreatment of Palestinians. Turkish leaders also have argued that Israel relies too heavily on military capabilities and deterrence (including its undeclared but universally acknowledged nuclear weapons arsenal) in addressing regional problems. One of the key events that marked the decline in relations was the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident (mentioned above). Partly to register dissatisfaction with the September 2011 report issued by a U.N. Secretary-General panel of inquiry on the flotilla incident,38 Turkey downgraded diplomatic relations with Israel to the second secretary level.39 Turkey’s demand for an apology from Israel in connection with the incident was met in March 2013, in a U.S.-facilitated exchange (discussed further below) that was intended to repair the Turkey-Israel rift. Before this, Erdogan prominently registered his disapproval of Israel’s military operations in Gaza in December 2008- 38 The report is available at http://go.ynet.co.il/pic/news/Palmer-Committee-Final-report.pdf. The panel was chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, and included former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and one participant each from Turkey and Israel. The report expressly provided that its findings were not intended to decide legal questions. Upon the report’s leak, Turkish officials disputed the report’s finding that Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip was legal, notwithstanding the report’s criticism of Israel’s handling of the incident itself. 39 Turkey similarly downgraded diplomatic relations with Israel in 1980 following Israel’s enactment of a law on the status of Jerusalem that was deemed a violation of international law by U.N. Security Council Resolution 478. Resolution 478 passed on August 20, 1980 by a vote of 14-0, with the United States as the lone abstention. Turkey reinstated Israel’s ambassador in 1992 following the 1991 Madrid Conference that signaled the beginning of the Middle East peace process. Linda Gradstein, “No end in sight for downward spiral in Turkish-Israeli ties,” JTA, September 6, 2011. Congressional Research Service 15 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations January 2009, reportedly angry that then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not inform him of Israel’s military plans during Olmert’s visit to Ankara shortly before the conflict. Turkey’s deteriorated relationship with Israel has presented problems for the United States because of the U.S. desire to coordinate its regional policies with two of its closest allies. U.S. officials seem to have concerns about the repercussions Turkey-Israel tensions could have for regional order and the alignment of U.S. and Turkish interests. This risk could be especially high if Turkey-Israel disagreements on Palestinian issues result in future high-profile incidents. Though Turkey publicly supports a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it backs Palestinian pursuit of United Nations membership and Fatah-Hamas reconciliation as well. In January 2012, Erdogan introduced Hamas’s prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, as the “elected prime minister of Palestine” at a session of Turkey’s parliament. Some Members of Congress have shown concern over problematic Turkey-Israel relations. Following the flotilla incident, the Senate passed S.Res. 548 by voice vote on June 24, 2010. The resolution condemned the attack by the “extremists aboard the Mavi Marmara,” invoked Israel’s right to self-defense, and encouraged “the Government of Turkey to recognize the importance of continued strong relations with Israel and the necessity of closely scrutinizing organizations with potential ties to terrorist groups” (a reference to the Turkish Islamist non-governmental organization IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, the main organizer of the flotilla).40 In early 2011, a New York Times Magazine article quoted a Turkish diplomat responsible for U.S. relations as saying, “We’re getting a lot of flak from the Hill. We used to get hit by the Greek lobby and the Armenian lobby, but we were protected by the Jewish lobby. Now the Jewish lobby is coming after us as well.”41 A U.S.-based analyst who focuses specifically on Israel and Turkey commented in March 2013 that “with the establishment of an Israel-Hellenic caucus in Congress and arms deals with Turkey either being held up or not being introduced into committee at all, there is no doubt in my mind that Turkey’s feud with Israel is adversely impacting its interests in the U.S.”42 Such adverse effects could potentially be softened following recent developments that might be early signals of rapprochement between Turkey and Israel. During President Obama’s trip to Israel in March 2013, he and Secretary of State John Kerry facilitated a telephone conversation between Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan for any operational mistakes by Israel during the flotilla incident “that might have led to the loss of life or injury” and pledged to conclude an agreement on “compensation/nonliability.”43 The apology, on top of other signs that Turkey-Israel relations were slightly improving,44 has led 40 In the House, Representative Dina Titus sponsored H.Res. 1532, which was not passed but garnered 23 co-sponsors. H.Res. 1532 would have called upon the Secretary of State to investigate the “role of any foreign governments, including the Republic of Turkey, which may have aided and abetted the organizers of the recent Gaza Flotilla mission to breach Israeli coastal security and assault the naval defense forces of the State of Israel.” 41 James Traub, “Turkey’s Rules,” New York Times Magazine, January 20, 2011. 42 Michael Koplow, “O&Z Goes to Turkey,” ottomansandzionists.com, March 4, 2013. 43 Summary of conversation between Netanyahu and Erdogan from Israeli Prime Minister’s Office website, March 22, 2013. 44 In December 2012, reports cited a Turkish official as saying that Turkey had withdrawn previous objections to Israel’s non-military participation in NATO activities. Gulsen Solaker and Jonathon Burch, “Turkey lifts objection to NATO cooperation with Israel,” Reuters, December 24, 2012. Israel is part of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, along with Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia. In addition, trade between the two countries has remained on an upward trajectory since the flotilla incident, and by February 2013, Israel had reportedly unblocked the delivery of electronic support measures systems—pursuant to a pre-existing contract—for early warning aircraft that (continued...) Congressional Research Service 16 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations to widespread speculation regarding how much and how fast the two countries’ former closeness on military, intelligence, and political matters might be restored.45 Potential sticking points remain, including ongoing Israeli restrictions and limitations on the passage of people and goods to and from Gaza’s sea coast and its land borders with Israel.46 Media reports focus on new prospects for Turkey-Israel coordination with respect to Syria and possible Turkish consumption and transport of natural gas from Israel’s new offshore discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean, while voicing caution that a return to 1990s-era closeness is unlikely.47 Some reports also foresee a more visible Turkish mediating role between Israelis and Palestinians.48 Erdogan reportedly consulted with Fatah and Hamas (the two main Palestinian factions) before agreeing to the U.S.-arranged phone call with Netanyahu, and reportedly plans to visit Gaza in late May 2013 over U.S. objections. U.S. leaders may have felt compelled to broker some sort of improvement in Turkey-Israel relations following remarks Erdogan made in late February 2013 at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Vienna, Austria that appeared to equate Zionism with fascism.49 That comparison drew heavy criticism from Israel, the White House, Secretary Kerry, and some Members of Congress. In a March 12 letter to Erdogan, 89 Members of Congress (including 23 Senators) called on him to retract what they termed his “appalling comment” about Zionism in Vienna, while also stating that they know that Turkey’s government “shares a commitment to meaningful international involvement to advance security and peace”, and expressing hope for the restoration of good relations between Turkey and Israel.50 It is unclear whether Netanyahu’s apology to Erdogan in the immediate aftermath of Erdogan’s controversial comments might lead Turkish leaders to calculate that future provocative remarks could elicit additional concessions from Israel or the United States. (...continued) Turkey is purchasing from U.S.-based Boeing. Burak Bekdil, “Israel abandons block on sales to Turkish AWACS,” Hurriyet Daily News, February 22, 2013. 45 See, e.g., Oded Eran, “Israel-Turkey Reconciliation Still Remote,” nationalinterest.org, April 18, 2013; Uzi Mahnaimi, “Israel to corral Iran with Turkish airbase,” Sunday Times (UK), April 21, 2013. 46 State Department transcript of remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Ciragan Palace, Istanbul, Turkey, April 7, 2013. 47 See, e.g., “A useful first step,” Economist, March 30-April 5, 2013. 48 See, e.g., Semih Idiz, “Israeli Apology May Restore Turkey’s Regional Influence,” Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse, March 26, 2013. 49 According to media sources, the following represents an accurate English translation of Erdogan’s remarks, which were delivered as part of an address that primarily concerned Western countries’ treatment of Muslim communities and diasporas: “We should be striving to better understand the beliefs of others but instead we see that people act based on prejudice and exclude others and despise them. And that is why it is necessary that we must consider—just like Zionism or anti-Semitism or fascism—Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.” Video and partial transcript of remarks and translation available at http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/video-of-turkish-premier-comparingzionism-to-anti-semitism-and-fascism/?smid=tw-thelede&seid=auto. 50 Text of letter available at http://israel.house.gov/images/PDF/erdoganletteronzionismcomment.pdf. In a March 19 interview with a prominent Danish news source, although Erdogan did not explicitly retract his Vienna remarks, he was quoted as saying that his criticisms “are directed at Israeli policies” and that “My several statements openly condemning anti-semitism clearly display my position on this issue.” “Exclusive Erdogan-interview: ‘We see a human tragedy before our eyes,’” Politiken (Denmark), March 19, 2013. Congressional Research Service 17 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Syria51 Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu initially tried to use their then-good relations with Bashar al Asad to help broker a peaceful end to the budding Syrian insurgency in 2011. When that failed to moderate Asad’s approach to the opposition, they changed tack and adopted a strong stance against the Syrian regime. According to one Turkish journalist: In the summer of 2011, Turkey decided to bring down the Baath regime in Damascus and sought ways to implement its decision as much as its capacity allowed. Turkey did everything it could with the exception of direct military intervention in Syria. It is not a secret that Turkey sponsored the initial organization and coordination of the Syrian opposition, opened its territory to the use of the opposition military forces and provided logistical support to them.52 Turkey has coordinated its efforts closely with other countries—including the United States, other NATO allies, and Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar—that also provide political, financial, and/or material support to the opposition. The United States and other key Western countries have reportedly refused or been more reluctant than Turkey and other Sunni-majority countries to provide advanced weaponry such as anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels because of concerns about potentially empowering extremist elements and worsening regional sectarianism. Some reports assert that Turkey’s intelligence service has been supporting the Free Syrian Army and—like some Arab states’ intelligence services—is cultivating ties with other Sunni Islamist militias.53 Tensions between Turkey and Arab Gulf states on one side, and Iran on the other, have reportedly deepened considerably over developments in both Syria and Iraq that have stirred SunniShia/Alawite sectarian undercurrents. A February 11, 2013, a car bomb explosion at a SyriaTurkey border checkpoint killed 14 people (including four Turks) and injured approximately 25 more. Some reports speculate about possible links from this bombing, as well as from the February 1 suicide bombing of a security checkpoint at the U.S. embassy in Ankara,54 to various elements within the Asad regime.55 Absent a clear endgame in Syria, Turkey has focused increasingly on minimizing the spillover effects of the ongoing civil war. In June 2012, the Syrian regime shot down a Turkish F-4 warplane that may have at one point been in Syrian airspace. This was followed in October 2012 by cross-border artillery fire that killed two women and three children in the Turkish town of 51 For background information on Syria, see CRS Report RL33487, Armed Conflict in Syria: U.S. and International Response, by Jeremy M. Sharp and Christopher M. Blanchard. Rhoda Margesson, Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy, authored the portions of this section on Syrian refugees. 52 Kadri Gursel, “NATO Patriot Missiles Show Turkey's Military Weakness,” Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse, December 28, 2012. 53 One report claims that Turkish intelligence has contacts with a Turkish group and a Turkish-speaking Chechen group that are in Syria in opposition to the Asad regime. “GID and MIT back jihadists,” Intelligence Online, No. 684, March 13, 2013. 54 The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C, sometimes known as “Dev Sol”) claimed responsibility for the embassy bombing. The DHKP/C is a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization with a Marxist-Leninist ideology, a long track record of anti-U.S. and anti-NATO militancy, and some historical links with the Asad regime. 55 “Turkey blames Syria for border gate attack,” hurriyetdailynews.com, March 11, 2013; Mustafa Akyol, “The Ankara Bomber: A Pro-Assad Communist,” Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse, February 2, 2013. Congressional Research Service 18 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Akcakale. In response to the October incident, Turkey returned fire, leading to several days of cross-border artillery exchanges. Turkey also convened consultations with its allies under Article 4 of NATO’s North Atlantic Treaty.56 Although a majority of NATO member states appear to oppose a possible NATO military intervention in Syria, allied leaders gave approval in December 2012 for the deployment of six Patriot missile batteries to areas near Turkey’s southeastern border with Syria. NATO and allied leaders have asserted that the batteries are being deployed for defensive purposes only. On April 11, 2013, Air Force General Philip Breedlove addressed the potential for other uses of NATO’s Patriot missile presence in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing regarding his possible confirmation as U.S. European Command Commander and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. In his testimony, General Breedlove stated that the two batteries representing the U.S. contribution “could be used in a role to project into Syria. They have the capability to do it…. if Turkey and the U.S. were looking to do this in a bilateral fashion, or if we could convince our NATO partners to come alongside of us, to also be a part of that”. NATO’s Patriot deployment presumably defends against potential Syrian Scud missile and/or chemical weapons attacks, as Turkey does not have a missile defense capability of its own.57 In addition to the two batteries and operational teams contributed by the United States in or near the city of Gaziantep, Germany and the Netherlands have each contributed two Patriot batteries and operational teams to the population centers of Karamanmaras and Adana, respectively. The batteries reportedly became operational, under NATO command and control, in late January and early February 2013.58 Syrian refugees present an ongoing and increasing dilemma for Turkey. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of April 2013, the Turkish government was operating at least 17 government-run refugee camps. Between refugees residing in the camps and those in urban areas outside the camps, the total Syrian refugee population in Turkey is now estimated to be more than 293,000 and is projected to increase. The Regional Response Plan, a U.N. appeal, includes assistance to meet immediate Syrian refugee needs in Turkey.59 Registration of refugees and camp management are coordinated by the Turkish government’s Disaster Relief Agency (AFAD), with operational support from the Turkish Red Crescent and other agencies. UNHCR provides technical advice and assistance. One late 2012 report reflected a widely-held assessment among observers that although Turkey has managed to avoid significant economic difficulties from the refugee flows, social and political costs are emerging—especially tensions between Sunni refugees and Turkish Alawites in the border province of Hatay.60 56 Article 4 reads: “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.” 57 Turkey has announced plans to purchase a ballistic defense missile system, but has repeatedly delayed a procurement decision. It has reportedly entertained offers from the United States (Patriots from Raytheon Co.), the European consortium Eurosam, Russia, and China, and it is unclear whether NATO’s deployment of Patriot batteries might affect the decision. 58 NATO press release, “All NATO Patriot batteries in Turkey operational,” February 16, 2013. 59 UNHCR factsheet, “UNHCR Turkey Syrian Daily Sitrep,” February 28, 2013; UNHCR, “Turkey: High Commissioner for Refugees in Syria region, Turkey refugee numbers revised upwards,” March 12, 2013. 60 Christopher Phillips, “The impact of Syrian refugees on Turkey and Jordan,” The World Today (Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House), vol. 68, no. 8/9, 2012. Congressional Research Service 19 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Iran Turkey seems to be seeking a balance between helping the United States contain Iranian regional influence and maintaining relatively normal political and economic ties with Iran. Differing Iranian and Turkish interests in the region, particularly with regard to Syria and Iraq, have led to increased competition for influence. Turkey and Iran also compete for the admiration of Arab populations on issues such as championing the Palestinian cause. Turkey’s renewed closeness with the United States has further fueled Turkey-Iran tensions at a time when the Obama Administration is continuing its efforts to isolate Iran because of Iran’s nuclear program, backing of the Asad regime, and support for militant and terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Within this context, Turkey agreed in September 2011 to host a U.S. forward-deployed early warning radar at the Kurecik base near the eastern Turkish city of Malatya as part of a NATOapproved missile defense system. Most analysts interpret this system as an attempt to counter potential ballistic missile threats to Europe from Iran.61 An unnamed senior U.S. Administration official was quoted as calling this agreement “probably the biggest strategic decision between the United States and Turkey in the past 15 or 20 years.”62 Some Iranian officials, after initially expressing displeasure with Turkey’s decision, have stated that Iran would target the radar in Turkey in the event of a U.S. or Israeli airstrike on Iran. During their visit to Tehran in late March 2012, Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu reportedly said on Iranian television that Turkey could have the radar dismantled within six months if “conditions Turkey had put forward to host the radar are not respected”63—a likely reference to Turkish leaders’ public insistence that data collected from the radar are not to be shared with Israel.64 Despite these sources of tension, Turkish officials continue to stress the importance of good relations with Iran and meet regularly with Iranian counterparts. There is Turkish interest in maintaining stability and trade. Turkey may also be trying to keep open the possibility of mediating the international impasse on Iran’s nuclear program. Following some reports that Iran might be assisting the PKK, Iran and Turkey publicly committed in October 2011 to cooperating against the PKK and the Iranian Kurdish separatist organization Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) that also maintains safe havens in northern Iraq. 61 See footnote 2. The radar was activated in late December 2011. “Part of NATO missile defense system goes live in Turkey,” CNN, January 16, 2012. It is reportedly operated by U.S. personnel from a command center in Diyarbakir, with a Turkish general and his team stationed in Germany to monitor the command and control mechanisms headquartered there for the entire missile defense system. “Malatya radar system to be commanded from Ramstein,” Hurriyet Daily News, February 4, 2012. 62 Thom Shanker, “U.S. Hails Deal with Turkey on Missile Shield,” New York Times, September 15, 2011. 63 “Erdogan, in Iran, says NATO radar could be dismantled if needed,” Today’s Zaman, March 30, 2012. 64 According to U.S. officials, despite this Turkish insistence, information collected from the radar is coordinated as necessary with the U.S. missile defense radar deployed in Israel. One senior Administration official has been quoted as saying, “Data from all U.S. missile defense assets worldwide, including not only from radars in Turkey and Israel, but from other sensors as well, is fused to maximize the effectiveness of our missile defenses worldwide; this data can be shared with our allies and partners in this effort.” Josh Rogin, “Amid tensions, U.S. and Turkey move forward on missile defense,” thecable.foreignpolicy.com, September 19, 2011. Some Members of Congress had insisted that sharing information for Israel’s potential defense be a condition of the radar’s placement in Turkey. The text of a September 19, 2011, letter to President Barack Obama from six Senators on this subject is available at http://kirk.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=299. Congressional Research Service 20 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations According to a November 2012 Wall Street Journal article, Iran provides 51% of Turkey’s oil and 18% of its natural gas.65 Turkey’s announcement in the spring of 2012 that it would reduce Iranian oil imports by 20% helped it gain an exemption from the U.S. sanctions that took effect in June 2012.66 Media and official attention in late 2012 and early 2013 focused on a “gold-forenergy” trading practice between Turkey and Iran that was characterized by many as helping Iran circumvent newly instituted international restrictions on access to the global financial system. However, a new U.S. law is set to take effect in July 2013 specifically sanctioning the provision of precious metals to Iran (Section 1245 of P.L. 112-239, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, enacted January 2, 2013).67 Perhaps as a consequence, reports indicate that Turkey may be reducing or preparing to reduce gold-for-energy trades with Iran.68 Additional U.S. and international concerns about Iran’s possible use of Turkish companies or institutions to finance and supply its nuclear program and avoid the impact of sanctions largely focus on Turkey’s legal standards69 and on the reported recent profusion of Iranian-financed firms in Turkey.70 Possible U.S. Policy Options Although U.S. and Turkish interests and policies intersect in many respects, Turkey’s growing regional influence and military and economic self-reliance have decreased its dependence on the United States. Still, the appeal of U.S. and Western power, prestige, values, and military technology might currently outstrip that of potential competitors.71 Over the long term, a significant challenge for U.S. policymakers may be to convince Turkish officials of a continuing imperative to cooperate despite an apparently growing sense of Turkish confidence and independence. The 2012 Albright-Hadley report implied that Turkey’s ability to exercise regional influence on its own remains limited: Still, for all the investment, goodwill, and concomitant influence it has developed over the past decade, Ankara was unable to leverage that prestige to sway the behavior of either Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi or Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, two leaders the Turks studiously cultivated during the AKP’s tenure.72 Members of Congress, through active inquiry into and possible coordination with Obama Administration positions on Turkey, and their own engagement on Turkey-related issues, can consider how various options might serve U.S. interests. One U.S. analyst wrote in December 2011: 65 Joe Parkinson and Emre Peker, “Turkey Swaps Gold for Iranian Gas,” Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2012. This exemption, which requires renewal every 180 days by the Administration, was renewed in December 2012 after Turkey apparently agreed to reduce Iranian oil imports further. Press Statement by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “Regarding Significant Reductions of Iranian Crude Oil Purchases,” Washington, DC, December 7, 2012. 67 For more general information on this subject, see CRS Report RS20871, Iran Sanctions, by Kenneth Katzman. 68 Asli Kandemir, “Exclusive: Turkey to Iran gold trade wiped out by new U.S. sanction,” Reuters, February 15, 2013. 69 Financial Action Task Force Public Statement, Paris, February 22, 2013; Daniel Dombey, “Turkey’s last-minute terror laws: will they be enough?”, blogs.ft.com, February 8, 2013. 70 “New Iranian firms in Turkey stir front company worries for Ankara,” todayszaman.com, February 17, 2013. 71 See “Other International Relationships” in Appendix D. 72 Council on Foreign Relations, op. cit., p. 40. 66 Congressional Research Service 21 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Despite record levels of communication and travel between top leaders in Ankara and Washington, the societal and institutional connections are still in need of revitalization and strengthening…. [C]oordination and policy on Turkey continues to affect vital interests throughout Washington, which ideally must go beyond the administration to the Hill and society at large even if there is short-term turbulence.73 Influencing Regional Change and Promoting Stability Turkey is likely to play a key role in affecting the outcomes of ongoing political change and unrest in the broader Middle East. In partnering with Turkey to influence regional change and promote stability, the following options are available for Members of Congress and Obama Administration officials to adopt or continue: • Determine how to encourage improvement in Turkey’s relations with Israel. • Determine the proper nature and extent of bilateral and NATO military and intelligence cooperation, including joint use of Turkish bases and territory, as well as information sharing to assist in countering the PKK and in facilitating interdiction of illegal arms shipments from other countries or non-state actors. • Determine whether and how to encourage Turkish political and financial support for individuals and groups opposing autocratic regimes, and whether and how such backing should be linked to support for political and economic transitions in countries experiencing unrest or leadership changes. • Determine whether and how to coordinate with Turkey to impose and enforce unilateral, multilateral, or international sanctions (diplomatic, military, and/or economic) that have the potential to effectively weaken or change the behavior of regimes or other actors violating human rights or otherwise contravening international laws and norms. Examples include the Asad regime and possibly other actors in Syria and the Iranian regime for its nuclear program and support of regional terrorist groups. • Determine whether and how to support Turkish efforts to coordinate regional security and development with other local actors, especially other U.S. allies. Action on any of these options would take place in a complex regional and strategic environment whose trajectory has probably become more unpredictable since regional unrest and political change began in late 2010. Arms Sales and Military/Security Assistance Turkey continues to seek advanced U.S. military equipment (i.e., fighter aircraft, drone aircraft, helicopters, and missile defense systems), and its defense industry participates in joint ventures with the United States (e.g., on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter). However, Turkey’s growing defense industry and its increased willingness to engage in arms import-export transactions or joint military exercises with non-NATO countries, such as China, Russia, Pakistan, and South Korea, indicate Turkey’s interest in diversifying its defense relationships and decreasing its 73 Joshua W. Walker, “U.S.-Turkish Relations: Modesty and Revitalization,” On Turkey, German Marshall Fund of the United States, December 15, 2011. Congressional Research Service 22 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations dependence on the United States. U.S. military and security assistance programs for Turkey are designed to cultivate closeness in relationships and practices between Turkish military officers and security officials and their U.S. counterparts. These programs also seek to counter terrorist and criminal networks that are active in the region, including those which historically have operated within and across Turkey’s borders.74 In April 2013, Turkish police stated that in February they had detained conspirators in potential Al Qaeda-linked terrorist plots against the U.S. embassy in Ankara and two other sites.75 Since 2008, Turkey has reportedly been particularly interested in acquiring armed drones from the United States to use against the PKK.76 Reports have indicated that some Members of Congress have balked at the drone sale.77 By redeploying four unarmed U.S. Predator drones from Iraq to Turkey in late 2011,78 the Obama Administration might have bought time for further consultations with Congress on a potential drone sale and with Turkey on potential alternatives. It is unclear how Turkey’s ongoing negotiations with the PKK may affect its military procurement plans. Possible Armenian Genocide Congress’s involvement on Turkey-Armenia issues has the potential to strongly influence U.S.Turkey relations. In March 2010 during the 111th Congress, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted to report H.Res. 252 for consideration by the full House (by a vote of 23-22). H.Res. 252 characterized actions of the Ottoman Empire against Armenians from 1915 to 1917 as genocide. Similar resolutions had been reported multiple times by congressional committees since 1984 (see Appendix E for a full list), and President Ronald Reagan referred to a “genocide of the Armenians” during a Holocaust Remembrance Day speech in 1981. H.Res. 252 did not pass, but in response to the March 2010 committee action, Turkey recalled its ambassador from the United States for one month, and at least one prominent AKP lawmaker reportedly warned that “the relationship would be downgraded on every level” in the event of House passage of the resolution. This warning was commonly interpreted as including a threat to curtail, at least partially or temporarily, U.S. access to Turkish bases and territory for transporting non-lethal cargo to missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.79 Representative Robert Dold introduced 74 State Department FY2013 Congressional Budget Justification, Foreign Operations, Annex: Regional Perspectives, pp. 482-483. 75 Sebnem Arsu, “U.S. Embassy in Turkey Said to Be Targeted,” New York Times, April 12, 2013. 76 According to Jane’s, Turkey has sought to purchase four MQ-1 Predator drones and six MQ-9 Reaper drones (more advanced versions of the Predator). “Procurement, Turkey,” Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment - Eastern Mediterranean, December 16, 2010. Previous potential sales of Reapers to NATO allies such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy were notified to Congress in 2008 and 2009 with the understanding that the drones would be used to support coalition operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 77 In October 2011, then Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow reportedly said in a speech to the American-Turkish Council, “This topic is influenced by the problems in TurkishIsraeli relations. This is not a secret. But just to repeat it, we do support the sale.” Craig Whitlock, “Pentagon agrees to sell three attack helicopters to Turkey,” Washington Post, November 1, 2011. 78 “US deployed Predators to Incirlik: Davutoglu,” Hurriyet Daily News, November 13, 2011. According to then Secretary of Defense Panetta, the Iraqi government gave the United States permission to keep flying Predator drones on surveillance missions over northern Iraq. Craig Whitlock, “U.S. drones allowed in Iraqi skies,” washingtonpost.com/blogs/checkpoint-washington, December 16, 2011. 79 Robert Tait and Ewen McCaskill, “Turkey threatens ‘serious consequences’ after US vote on Armenian genocide,” Guardian (UK), March 5, 2010. Congressional Research Service 23 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations H.Res. 304—virtually identical to H.Res. 252—in June 2011 during the 112th Congress, and Senator Robert Menendez introduced a similar proposed resolution as S.Res. 399 in March 2012. Neither resolution advanced through committee. Advocates of recognizing a genocide are to commemorate the event’s 100th anniversary in 2015. At least 20 countries other than Armenia have recognized the Ottoman-era deaths as genocide in some way, including 11 of the 27 EU member states.80 Bilateral Trade Promotion Although successive U.S. Administrations have cited the importance of increased trade with Turkey, and the Obama Administration has reemphasized this in articulating its vision for a multifaceted bilateral strategic relationship,81 it is unclear how effective government efforts to promote U.S.-Turkey trade can be. Bilateral trade has expanded in recent years, although the gap (in favor of the United States) has widened since 2009 both in actual terms and in percentage terms.82 The U.S. government has designated Turkey as a priority market under the National Export Initiative and the interagency Trade Policy Coordination Committee has developed an Export Enhancement Strategy for Turkey.83 On its side, the Turkish Ministry of Economy has identified six U.S. states as the focus of its efforts to increase bilateral trade: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Georgia.84 Turkish officials have occasionally proposed a U.S.-Turkey free or preferential trade agreement or U.S. legislation establishing qualified industrial zones (QIZs) in Turkey without success.85 With U.S. and EU officials both publicly contemplating a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), some analysts and advocates have called for Turkey to be included in whatever discussions may occur.86 The 2012 Albright-Hadley report encouraged the pursuit of a U.S.-Turkey free or preferential trade agreement or other measures emphasizing “market access, regulatory compatibility, business facilitation, assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises, and promotion of trade in cutting-edge technologies”.87 Some policymakers and observers claim 80 The EU states recognizing a genocide are France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Greece, and Cyprus. The European Parliament has also recognized the deaths as genocide. 81 The two countries signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in 1990 and a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 1999. Annual meetings for the U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation began in 2010 at the cabinet ministerial level. 82 See, e.g., Sidar Global Advisors, op. cit. 83 For more detailed information on bilateral efforts to promote trade, see U.S. Department of Commerce Fact Sheet: U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation, October 14, 2010. 84 Information provided to CRS by Turkish Ministry of Economy, September 2011. 85 Turkey’s customs union with the EU (see Appendix D) apparently would preclude a free trade or preferential agreement between the United States and Turkey absent a similar U.S.-EU agreement. See Turkish Ministry of Economy website at http://www.economy.gov.tr/index.cfm?sayfa=tradeagreements&bolum=fta&region=0. 86 See, e.g., Kemal Kirisci, “Don’t Forget Free Trade with Turkey,” nationalinterest.org, April 15, 2013; Bahadir Kaleagasi and Baris Ornarli, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), “Why Turkey belongs to transatlantic economy,” thehill.com/blogs, March 12, 2013. 87 Council on Foreign Relations, op. cit., pp. 12-13. Additionally, a March 2012 report jointly sponsored by the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TUSIAD) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommended that U.S. and Turkish trade and investment promotion agencies align strategies and use resources efficiently to “achieve certain mutually set benchmarks and goals.” See Sidar Global Advisors, U.S.-Turkish Economic Relations in a New Era: Analysis and Recommendations for a Stronger Strategic Partnership, Turkish Industry & Business Association (TUSIAD) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 2012. Congressional Research Service 24 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations that even if past economic conditions may have limited U.S. trade with Turkey, recent growth in Turkish consumer demand, quality of products and services, and global competitiveness and brand recognition have increased Turkey’s value as an import source, target market, and place of investment for U.S. companies.88 Conclusion Turkey’s importance to the United States may be increasing relative to previous eras of U.S.Turkey cooperation because of Turkey’s geopolitical importance, growing economy, and greater foreign policy assertiveness. The United States looks to Turkey, which plays a role in a number of hotspots in the region, as a partner for pursuing key interests. The effectiveness of Turkey as a U.S. partner is likely to be tested in relation to developments in Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Convergence between U.S. and Turkish interests remains subject to fluctuation as events develop, particularly with regard to Turkey’s complicated relations with Israel and concerns over strategic preeminence and energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. Congressional action on the ongoing civil conflict in Syria, Turkey’s request to purchase U.S. drone aircraft to counter the PKK, or a potential Armenian genocide resolution could significantly affect U.S.-Turkey relations, particularly if Members of Congress link their stances on these issues to the state of Turkey-Israel relations. The positions Members of Congress take on specific issues concerning Turkey—including defense cooperation, trade promotion, and Turkish domestic developments—also will indicate U.S. priorities at a critical time for global and regional stability and for the Turkish republic’s political and constitutional evolution. This could influence Turkish leaders’ future foreign policy rhetoric, decisions, and alignments, which in turn will likely have implications for regional security and for Turkey’s EU accession prospects. Congressional positions could also have some influence on Turkey’s commitment to civilian-led, democratic government that enshrines individual, media, and minority rights; rule of law; and due process. 88 See, e.g., Mark Scott, “In Turkey, Western Companies Find Stability and Growth,” New York Times, December 23, 2011. Congressional Research Service 25 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Appendix A. Profiles of Key Figures in Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Prime Minister Erdogan (pronounced air-doe-wan) was born in Istanbul in 1954 and spent much of his childhood in his family’s ancestral hometown of Rize on the Black Sea coast. He and his family returned to Istanbul for his teenage years, and he attended a religious imam hatip school. In the 1970s, Erdogan studied business at what is today Marmara University, played soccer semiprofessionally, and became politically active with the National Salvation Party, led by the pioneering Turkish Islamist figure (and eventual prime minister) Necmettin Erbakan. After the military banned all political parties in the wake of its 1980 coup, Erdogan became a business consultant and executive. When political life in Turkey resumed, Erdogan became a prominent local leader and organizer for Erbakan’s new Welfare Party. Erdogan was elected mayor of Istanbul in 1994 at the beginning of a wave of Islamist political victories in Turkey in the mid-1990s. He was removed from office, imprisoned for six months, and banned from parliamentary politics for religious incitement after he recited a poem in the southeastern city of Siirt in December 1997 that included the passage (translated from Turkish): “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” After Erbakan’s government resigned under military pressure in 1997 and the Welfare Party was disbanded, Erdogan became the founding chairman of the AKP in 2001. The AKP won a decisive electoral victory in 2002, securing the single-party rule that it has maintained since. After the election, a legal change allowed Erdogan to run for parliament in a 2003 special election in Siirt, and after he won, Erdogan replaced Abdullah Gul as prime minister. Erdogan and his personal popularity and charisma have been at the center of much of the domestic and foreign policy change that has occurred in Turkey in the past decade. In January 2009 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, following the Gaza Strip conflict between Israel and Hamas, he left the panel discussion in which he was participating after perceiving a slight by the moderator (Washington Post columnist David Ignatius). Before leaving, he pointedly criticized fellow panelist Shimon Peres, president of Israel. His criticism of Israel and its actions has boosted his popularity at home and throughout the Muslim Middle East, where polls show that he may be the region’s most popular world leader. Erdogan is married and has two sons and two daughters. His wife Emine and daughters wear the headscarf. He is not fluent in English but his understanding may be improving. Observers have speculated about his health, particularly following a November 2011 surgical procedure to remove stomach polyps. He has said that he does not have cancer. President Abdullah Gul President Gul was born in 1950 in Kayseri in central Turkey. He studied economics in Turkey and England, and received his Ph.D. from Istanbul University, becoming a university professor and an economist at the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Gul was first elected to parliament from Kayseri in 1991 as a member of the Islamist Welfare Party and served as a minister in and spokesman for the coalition government it briefly headed in 1996-1997. After the Congressional Research Service 26 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Welfare Party was disbanded, Gul stayed on in parliament as a reform-minded member of the Islamist Virtue Party. Gul served on parliamentary assemblies of NATO and the Council of Europe. When the AKP was formed in 2001, he became deputy chairman and—briefly—its first prime minister after the successful election of 2002. When Erdogan took over the prime ministry in 2003, Gul became Turkey’s foreign minister and helped accelerate Turkey’s EU accession process. In 2007, the AKP nominated Gul for the presidency amid substantial secularist opposition, partly owing to statements from his early political career that indicated distaste for the secular nature of Turkey’s republic. Parliament nevertheless elected Gul president. Many observers believe him to be a moderating influence on the Erdogan government. They also speculate about whether President Gul will challenge Erdogan in the 2014 presidential election, possibly in part out of a desire to prevent greater authoritarianism.89 Gul is married with two sons and a daughter. His wife Hayrunissa and daughter wear the headscarf. He speaks fluent English. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Foreign Minister Davutoglu was born in 1959 in Konya in central Turkey. He attended a German international school in Istanbul and received a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from Bosphorus University. He became a university professor, spending time in Malaysia in the early 1990s before establishing himself as a scholar known for applying academic theory to practical matters of Turkish foreign policy and national security strategy. His book Strategic Depth, which was published in 2001 and has been translated into other languages but not English, is thought by some to represent a blueprint of sorts for the policies Davutoglu has since helped implement. Following the AKP’s victory in 2002, Davutoglu was appointed chief foreign policy advisor to the prime minister. Upon his appointment as foreign minister in 2009, he quickly gained renown for articulating and applying his concepts of “zero problems with neighbors” and strategic depth. He advocates for a preeminent role for Turkey in its surrounding region, but disputes the characterization of his policies by some observers as “neo-Ottomanism.” He won an AKP parliamentary seat for the first time in June 2011. Davutoglu is married with four children. His wife Sare is a medical doctor. He speaks fluent English, as well as German and Arabic. Opposition Leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (known by its Turkish acronym, CHP, or Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi), was born in 1948 in Tunceli province in eastern Turkey. After receiving an economics degree from what is now Gazi University in Ankara, Kilicdaroglu had a civil service career—first with the Finance Ministry, then as the director89 Kadri Gursel, “Can Erdogan, Gul Still Reconcile?”, Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse, December 17, 2012. However, Gul, as a fellow member of the AKP and an erstwhile political ally of Erdogan’s, may not be inclined to run against him. Another possibility would be for Gul to “switch places” with Erdogan and return to the prime minister’s post. Congressional Research Service 27 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations general of the Social Security Organization. After retiring from the civil service, Kilicdaroglu became politically active with the CHP and was elected to parliament from Istanbul in 2002. He gained national prominence for his efforts to root out corruption among AKP officials and the AKP-affiliated mayor of Ankara. When CHP leader Deniz Baykal was forced to resign over a videotape sex scandal in May 2010, Kilicdaroglu was elected to replace him. In the first national election with him as party leader in June 2011, the CHP gained 23 seats in parliament—not as many as some observers had expected. Kilicdaroglu is married with a son and two daughters. He is an Alevi and speaks fluent French. PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan Abdullah Ocalan was born in or around 1949 in southeastern Turkey (near Sanliurfa). After attending vocational high school in Ankara, Ocalan served in civil service posts in Diyarbakir and Istanbul until enrolling at Ankara University in 1971. As his interest developed in socialism and Kurdish nationalism, Ocalan was jailed for seven months in 1972 for participating in an illegal student demonstration. His time in prison with other activists helped inspire his political ambitions, and he became increasingly politically active upon his release. Ocalan founded the Marxist-Leninist-influenced PKK in 1978 and launched a separatist militant campaign against Turkish security forces—while also attacking the traditional Kurdish chieftain class—in 1984. He used Syrian territory as a safe haven. Syria forced Ocalan to leave in 1998 after Turkey threatened war for harboring him. After traveling to several different countries, Ocalan was captured in February 1999 in Kenya—possibly with U.S. help—and was turned over to Turkish authorities. The PKK declared a cease-fire shortly thereafter. Ocalan was sentenced to death, in a trial later ruled unfair by the European Court of Human Rights, but when Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2002, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He resides in a maximumsecurity prison on the island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara, and was in solitary confinement until 2009. Although acting PKK leader Murat Karayilan and other commanders have exercised direct control over PKK operations during Ocalan’s imprisonment, some observers believe that Ocalan still ultimately controls the PKK through proxies. PKK violence resumed in 2003 and has since continued off-and-on until the most recent cease-fire that Ocalan and Karayilan called in March 2013. Ocalan has indicated that the organization is seeking a negotiated resolution that does not require forming a Kurdish state, and is apparently engaging in talks with Turkish intelligence to that end. Congressional Research Service 28 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Appendix B. List of Selected Turkish-Related Organizations in the United States American Friends of Turkey (http://afot.us/) American Research Institute in Turkey (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ARIT/) American Turkish Society (http://www.americanturkishsociety.org/) American-Turkish Council (http://www.the-atc.org/) Assembly of Turkish American Associations (http://www.ataa.org/)—component organizations from 17 states and District of Columbia Ataturk Society of America (http://www.ataturksociety.org/) Federation of Turkish American Associations Institute of Turkish Studies (http://turkishstudies.org/) SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (http://setadc.org) Turkic American Alliance (http://www.turkicamericanalliance.org/) • West America Turkic Council (West region)—includes Pacifica Institute • Turkish American Federation of Midwest (Midwest region) • Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians (South region)—includes Institute of Interfaith Dialog • Turkic American Federation of Southeast (Southeast region)—includes Istanbul Center • Council of Turkic American Associations (Northeast region) • Mid Atlantic Federation of Turkic American Associations (Mid-Atlantic region)—includes Rumi Forum • Rethink Institute (housed at Turkic American Alliance headquarters in Washington, DC) Turkish Coalition of America (http://www.tc-america.org/) Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) (http://www.tuskonus.org/ tuskon.php) Turkish Cultural Foundation (http://www.turkishculturalfoundation.org/) Turkey Policy Center (http://www.turkishpolicycenter.com/) Congressional Research Service 29 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Appendix C. General Background Information Historical Context Changes to the old Kemalist order did not materialize suddenly with the AKP’s rise to power. They reflect long-standing dynamics in Turkish politics and society that continue to evolve within Turkey’s existing constitutional framework. Popular desires to allow greater public space for traditional Islamic-oriented lifestyles manifested themselves politically as early as the 1950s during the rule of Turkey’s first democratically elected leader, Adnan Menderes. Menderes was eventually overthrown by a military-led coup in 1960 (and subsequently hanged), and the military continued to discourage the overt influence of religion in politics, intervening again in 1971 and 1980 to replace governments that it deemed had lost control of the country or had steered it away from secularism or toward ideological extremes. The military allowed Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs (later Prime Minister and President) Turgut Ozal to begin liberalizing the traditionally statist Turkish economy following its restoration of internal order in 1980. This helped set in motion a chain of events leading to the economic and political empowerment of millions of Turks hailing from traditional communities removed from Turkey’s more secular urban centers. Subsequent social and political developments reflected accommodation of this rising middle class—many of whom migrated to bigger cities— and their values. For example, imam hatip religious schools, initially established for young males seeking clerical careers, became widely attended by youth from religiously conservative families. In 1997, the military compelled Turkey’s first-ever Islamist-led coalition government to resign, but junior members of the coalition-leading Refah (Welfare) Party went on to form the AKP,90 which they characterize as a center-right reformist party without an Islamist agenda. Popular discontent with coalition rule stemming from a 1999-2001 economic and financial crisis and perceptions of government corruption and ineffectiveness opened the way for the AKP to achieve single-party rule with its first election victory in 2002. Since the AKP came to power, the military has reportedly become less scrutinizing of its rising officers’ religious backgrounds and views, taxes and regulations on the consumption of alcohol have increased, and the wearing of headscarves by women in universities and other public places has gained legal and social acceptance. In early 2012, an education reform bill enacted by parliament to extend the length of compulsory education also reportedly reversed constraints that were placed on imam hatip schools following the 1997 military intervention and increased the emphasis on Islamic education in the state’s general curriculum.91 Such developments, among others, prompted this observation in the 2012 Albright-Hadley report: To ensure social stability and a democratic trajectory, it is thus incumbent on the new establishment to reassure secular-minded Turks that their way of life has a place in Turkish society, even if secularists failed to do the same for observant Muslims during their long period of ascendancy.92 90 AKP members generally use the acronym “AK Party” or “AK,” partly because the Turkish word ak means “clean” and “unblemished,” thus presenting an image of incorruptibility. 91 M. Kemal Kaya and Halil M. Karaveli, “Remolding Compulsory Education, the AKP Erases a Secularist Legacy— and Seeks to Check the Gulen Brotherhood,” Turkey Analyst, vol. 5, no. 7, April 2, 2012. 92 Council on Foreign Relations, op. cit., p. 17. Congressional Research Service 30 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Fethullah Gulen Movement93 The Fethullah Gulen movement (or community) became a nationwide grassroots movement in the 1980s as part of the emergence of the new conservative Turkish middle class. The movement is comprised of adherents of Turkish imam Fethullah Gulen, who is now a permanent U.S. resident.94 He preaches a distinctly Turkish brand of Islam that condemns terrorism,95 promotes interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural understanding, and can function in concert with secular democratic mechanisms and modern economic and technological modes of living. Gulenistaffiliated schools96 and other organizations97 are also located in the United States and other regions worldwide. The movement rose to greater prominence in parallel with the AKP, and Gulen-inspired businesses, media enterprises, schools, charitable organizations, and civil society groups now exercise considerable influence in Turkey.98 Additionally, a Council on Foreign Relations analyst has written, “Opponents of both the AKP and the Gulen movement express concern that the party’s influence over the parliament and executive branch provides the Gulenists with unprecedented reach into government institutions, thereby threatening Turkey’s secular political order.”99 93 For a range of views on the Gulen movement, see M. Hakan Yavuz, Toward an Islamic Enlightenment: The Gülen Movement, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013; Helen Rose Ebaugh, The Gulen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam, New York: Springer, 2010; “Hank, The Gulen Movement, The Role of a Lifetime,” 60 Minutes, CBS News, May 13, 2012; Alexander Brock, “What Is the Gulen Movement?”, Council on Foreign Relations, op. cit., Appendix B; Claire Berlinski, “Who Is Fethullah Gülen?”, City Journal, vol. 22, no. 4, autumn 2012. 94 Gulen lives in seclusion at a retreat center with some of his adherents in Saylorsburg, PA, in the Pocono Mountains. He came to the United States in 1999 for medical treatment for a cardiovascular condition, and elected to stay after an ultimately unsuccessful criminal case was brought against him in Turkey charging that he sought to undermine Turkey’s secular government. 95 Days after the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011, Gulen took out advertisements in the New York Times and Washington Post condemning the attacks as incompatible with the teachings of Islam. 96 Gulenist organizations have reportedly founded and operate as many as 135 publicly-funded charter schools in 25 U.S. states. Berlinski, op. cit. These schools have generated publicity both for their high academic quality and for questions and possible federal investigations regarding their hiring and business practices. Phyllis Schlafly, “Look What’s Going On in Charter Schools,” creators.com, April 10, 2012; Stephanie Saul, “Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas,” New York Times, June 6, 2011; Martha Woodall and Claudio Gatti, “U.S. charter-school network with Turkish link draws federal attention,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 20, 2011. In April 2012, Tennessee’s legislature passed a bill limiting the percentage of foreign employees permitted to work in its charter schools. The initiative was reportedly driven in large part by political activists citing various media reports on Gulen-inspired schools. Mark Todd Engler, “Legislature Passes Limits on Foreign Staffers at TN Charter Schools,” tnreport.com, April 16, 2012. 97 Gulenists are involved with Turkish and Turkish-American trade associations and foundations active in the United States—both regionally and in the Washington, DC, area. Such organizations reportedly include the Turkic American Alliance umbrella of organizations and the business confederation TUSKON. Ilhan Tanir, “The Gulen movement plays big in Washington,” Hurriyet Daily News, May 14, 2010; Ebaugh, op. cit., p. 49. 98 For example, adherents of Gulen’s teachings launched the Zaman newspaper in 1986. It is now the most widely circulated newspaper in Turkey, and has an English-language sister publication, Today’s Zaman. Gulen also encouraged a group of businessmen to launch the Samanyolu television channel—today a major channel in Turkey with a worldwide reach through satellite and Internet transmission—in 1993. 99 Alexander Brock, “What Is the Gulen Movement?”, Council on Foreign Relations, op. cit., Appendix B. The criminal case charging Gulen with undermining Turkey’s secular government was largely based on a video in which Gulen apparently stated: “You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers…. You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institution in Turkey.” Berlinski, op. cit. Many of Gulen’s (continued...) Congressional Research Service 31 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Gulen, however, insists that he is neutral as to political parties and leaders in Turkey.100 Some developments, especially since 2012, indicate the possibility of a rift between the Erdogan-led AKP and the Gulen movement.101 In April 2012, the Gulen-inspired Journalists and Writers Foundation issued a lengthy statement asserting both that Hizmet (the Gulen movement’s name for itself—a Turkish word meaning “service”) does not have a hierarchy to direct the actions of individuals who adhere to its teachings, and that the movement’s support for principles of democracy, human rights, and rule of law is not defined in terms of loyalty or opposition to the AKP or any other political party.102 Whether the movement generally operates more like a hierarchy or more like a loose confederation of philosophically similar groups and individuals is a matter of considerable debate. Religious Minorities While U.S. constitutional law prohibits the excessive entanglement of the government with religion, republican Turkey has maintained secularism or “laicism” by controlling or closely overseeing religious activities in the country. This is partly to prevent religion from influencing state actors and institutions, as it did during previous centuries of Ottoman rule. Sunni Muslims, although not monolithic in their views on freedom of worship, have better recourse than other religious adherents to the democratic process for accommodation of their views because of their majority status. Minority Muslim sects (most prominently, the Alevis) and non-Muslim religions largely depend on legal appeals, political advocacy, and support from Western countries to protect their rights in Turkey. Christians and Jews U.S. concerns focus on the rights of established Christian and Jewish communities and religious leaderships and their associated foundations and organizations within Turkey to choose leaders, train clergy, own property, and otherwise function independently of the Turkish government.103 Some Members of Congress routinely express grievances through proposed congressional resolutions and through letters to the President and to Turkish leaders on behalf of the Ecumenical (Greek Orthodox) Patriarchate of Constantinople, the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity (...continued) supporters claimed that the video had been doctored. 100 Gulen asserted in August 2010 that “we are still at an equal distance from every party. We never told anybody to enroll in a specific [party], attend its rallies or act as its supporters.” “Gulen Endorses Reform Package, Appealing for ‘Yes’ on Sept. 12,” Today’s Zaman, August 1, 2010. He has backed AKP-proposed constitutional amendments, but distinguished his support for the substance of the initiatives from support for the party or individual leaders that had proposed them. “Gulen Says His Call for Yes Vote Not Linked to Political Motives,” Today’s Zaman, August 25, 2010. 101 See footnote 13. 102 “GYV: Hizmet a civilian movement, has no political ambitions,” Today’s Zaman, April 5, 2012. 103 The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom included Turkey on its watch list from 2009 to 2011, and recommended that the State Department list Turkey as a “country of particular concern” for the first time in 2012. The State Department is not obliged to follow the commission’s recommendations, and has not on a number of occasions. Turkey’s 2012 designation generated controversy because one of the nine commissioners unsuccessfully tried to change his position, which would have resulted in Turkey again only being placed on the watch list. The commission’s website carries its 2012 annual report (covering April 2010-February 2011). See also the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2011. Congressional Research Service 32 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations based in Istanbul.104 On December 13, 2011, for example, the House passed H.Res. 306— “Urging the Republic of Turkey to safeguard its Christian heritage and to return confiscated church properties”—by voice vote.105 In an April 2012 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was quoted as saying that recent changes in Turkey have been extremely positive. Years ago, you couldn't have dreamed of the changes. You couldn’t have believed it. The prime minister has promised to restore properties confiscated from Christians and Jews years ago. He has promised to reopen the Orthodox seminary at Halki, which has been closed for many years. Of course, we have concerns in some areas, and there are legal questions remaining, but the Orthodox-Islamic dialogue has been extremely positive. More positive than I ever would have imagined.106 Patriarch Bartholomew, along with various U.S. and European officials, continues to press for the reopening of the Halki Theological School. In March 2013, Erdogan reportedly conditioned Halki’s reopening on measures by Greece to accommodate its Muslim community.107 In January 2013, 190 hectares of forestland surrounding Halki were returned to the Greek Orthodox foundation listed as its owner-of-record, as part of the government’s return of properties to religious groups discussed immediately below.108 At various times in the Turkish Republic’s history, the state has confiscated the properties of religious groups as part of its efforts to control religious life in the country. In late August 2011, Erdogan announced that Turkey would return properties confiscated since the adoption of a 1935 law governing religious foundations, to the extent the properties are still held publicly.109 Many of these properties were confiscated following a Turkish High Court of Appeals ruling in 1974 that had invalidated non-Muslim religious foundations’ abilities to acquire real estate.110 Properties to be returned potentially include schools, orphanages, cemeteries, commercial properties, and hospitals affiliated with various Christian churches and Turkey’s Jewish community. According to 104 The Patriarchate traces its roots to the Apostle Andrew. The most commonly articulated congressional grievances on behalf of the Patriarchate—whose ecumenicity is not acknowledged by the Turkish government, but also not objected to when acknowledged by others—are the non-operation of the Halki Theological School on Heybeliada Island near Istanbul, the requirement that the Patriarch be a Turkish citizen, and the failure of the Turkish government to return previously confiscated properties. 105 H.Res. 306 was sponsored by Representative Edward Royce. An identically worded proposed resolution was introduced in the Senate in March 2012 as S.Res. 392. Other proposed resolutions from the 112th Congress include H.Res. 180 (“Urging Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”), and S.Res. 196 (“A resolution calling upon the Government of Turkey to facilitate the reopening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Theological School of Halki without condition or further delay”). 106 John Kass, “With faith and hope, Turkey builds a new identity,” Chicago Tribune, April 11, 2012. Some sources indicate that Prime Minister Erdogan promised at a March 2012 meeting with President Obama in Seoul, South Korea, that he would reopen the Halki seminary. See, e.g., David Ignatius, “Obama’s friend in Turkey,” Washington Post, June 7, 2012. 107 “PM indicates opening Halki Seminary depends on reciprocal gesture by Greece,” todayszaman.com, March 30, 2013. 108 109 According to reports, the foundations would receive compensation for property since transferred to third parties. See Sebnum Arsu, “Turkish Government to Return Seized Property to Religious Minorities,” New York Times, August 29, 2011. 110 The ability for these foundations to acquire real estate has since been restored. The 1974 court ruling came at a time of high Turkish-Greek tensions with the outbreak of conflict in Cyprus. Congressional Research Service 33 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations one report, “The government’s willingness to explore restitution does not yet cover the hundreds, if not thousands, of property seizures from individuals, or the takeovers that occurred before 1936. An even more contentious point is confiscation that occurred prior to the formation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.”111 Property returns have begun, and more are expected in the near future pursuant to each organization’s application for return of applicable properties and the determination of the government’s General Directorate of Foundations.112 Prior to Erdogan’s 2011 decree, which amended an earlier 2008 law, the European Court of Human Rights made multiple rulings requiring Turkey to pay compensation to various religious-affiliated organizations after earlier attempts by the government to remedy the situation did not satisfy the organizations. Alevis Most Muslims in Turkey are Sunni, but 10 million to 20 million are Alevis (of whom about 20% are ethnic Kurds). The Alevi sect of Islam is an offshoot of Shiism113 that contains strands from pre-Islamic Anatolian traditions. Alevism has been traditionally influenced by Sufi mysticism that emphasizes believers’ individual spiritual paths, but it defies precise description owing to its lack of centralized leadership and reliance on oral traditions historically kept secret from outsiders. Alevis have long been among the strongest supporters of Turkey’s secular state, which they reportedly perceive as their protector from the Sunni majority.114 111 Dorian Jones, “Turkey: Making Room for Religious Minorities,” EurasiaNet.org, October 3, 2011. CRS correspondence with U.S. diplomat based in Turkey, November 2011. 113 For information comparing and contrasting Sunnism and Shiism, see CRS Report RS21745, Islam: Sunnis and Shiites, by Christopher M. Blanchard; and CRS Report WVB00001, Sunni and Shi'a Islam: Video Brief, by Christopher M. Blanchard. 114 According to a Boston University anthropologist who studies modern Turkish society, “Alevis suffered centuries of oppression under the Ottomans, who accused them of not being truly Muslim and suspected them of colluding with the Shi’i Persians against the empire. Alevi Kurds were victims of the early republic’s Turkification policies and were massacred by the thousands in Dersim in 1937-39. In the 1970s, Alevis became associated with socialist and other leftist movements, while the political right was dominated by Sunni Muslims. An explosive mix of sectarian cleavages, class polarization, and political violence led to communal massacres of Alevis in five major cities in 1977 and 1978, setting the stage for the 1980 coup.” Jenny White, Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013, p. 14. 112 Congressional Research Service 34 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Appendix D. Additional Foreign Policy Issues of U.S. Interest The “Turkish Model” and Regional Stance Given the unrest and political change occurring across much of the Arab Middle East since late 2010, Turkey might view the United States as needing more Turkish support in the region. Turkey exercises considerable regional influence given its military, economic, and political power—aided by its status as an established Muslim-majority democracy and its membership in NATO. Political activists in several countries undergoing leadership transitions—including Tunisia and Egypt—have cited Turkey as a potential model for their own political systems. This has raised questions among leaders and analysts about which aspects of Turkey’s system these activists seek to emulate—whether it is its outwardly secular mechanisms, its historical military guardianship, its economic vitality, its political system in which civilian leaders with Islamist leanings have exerted increasing power, or some combination of these. Arab interpretations of the “Turkish model” tend to emphasize the recent democratic and economic empowerment of Turkey’s middle class and the connection between this and Turkey’s emergence as a regional power with a foreign policy independent of the West. Some Western views favor some notion of military guardianship of the state from disorder and ideological extremes (a model that many Westerners have historically equated with republican Turkey).115 While some in both the Arab world and the West suspect that Turkey’s government favors the rise of pro-democracy Islamist movements that emulate the AKP, Prime Minister Erdogan was criticized by North African Islamists during his September 2011 trip to Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya for voicing his support for secular democratic mechanisms. Many analysts and Turkish officials have stated that Turkey might more aptly be characterized as an inspiration than as a model because the historical experiences and characteristics of its people, society, and economic system are distinct from those of Arab countries.116 Within the context of regional change, Turkey has sought to balance its support for countryspecific democratic reforms with its interests in overall stability. Turkish interests appear to reflect three factors: (1) It is the leading Muslim-majority democracy in the region with an interest in promoting its political values, (2) it has a significant economic stake in the region, and (3) it is concerned about the regional balance of power and possible spillover effects for its own security. Turkish leaders are particularly concerned about developments at or near its borders with Syria and Iraq, especially given Turkey’s own on-and-off struggles with Kurdish separatist militants who maintain safe havens in northern Iraq and who could be further strengthened by their fellow ethnic Kurds in Syria, Iraq, and Iran if those states’ governments are weakened. 115 For a critique of viewpoints that favor a Turkey-like military-led transition in Egypt, see Steven Cook, “The Turkish Model for Egypt? Beware of False Analogies,” blogs.cfr.org, February 4, 2011. 116 Nathalie Tocci, Omer Taspinar, Henri Barkey, Eduard Soler i Lecha, and Hassan Nafaa, Turkey and the Arab Spring: Implications for Turkish Foreign Policy from a Transatlantic Perspective, German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2011; Sinan Ulgen, From Inspiration to Aspiration: Turkey in the New Middle East, Carnegie Europe, December 2011. Congressional Research Service 35 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Iraq Turkey cooperated with the United States in the 1991 Gulf War and following the U.S.-led 2003 Iraq invasion, but the Turkish parliamentary decision in 2003 not to allow U.S. forces to use its territory to open a northern front significantly affected U.S.-Turkey relations at that time. The decision showed the United States that in its strategic relationship with Turkey, it could no longer rely solely on past legacies of cooperation and its close ties with the Turkish military.117 Starting in late 2007, U.S. willingness to provide greater counterterrorism support to Turkey in its struggle against the PKK helped move U.S.-Turkey priorities in Iraq toward greater alignment. For Turkey, strong governance and stability in Iraq is important particularly due to Turkish interests in denying the PKK use of Iraqi territory for its safe havens; discouraging the crossborder spread of Kurdish separatist sentiment; countering Iranian influence; and accessing Iraq’s potentially lucrative export markets and ample energy resources (which could eventually lessen Turkey’s dependence on Iranian and Russian energy imports). U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed appreciation for Turkey’s constructive role in post-conflict Iraq, with which it has growing trade and where it has improved relations with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). Without a U.S. military mission in Iraq, Turkey’s influence appears to be more significant. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, a Shiite, has accused Turkey of undue interference in Iraqi internal affairs. This is likely due to Turkey’s close ties to Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders in the country, as well as warnings by Prime Minister Erdogan that Turkey would not “remain silent” in the event of renewed sectarian conflict.118 The KRG and Turkey are reportedly discussing and negotiating a broad energy deal that would include Turkish investment in oil and gas extraction in KRG-controlled territory, as well as construction of a separate oil pipeline linking KRGcontrolled fields to the Turkish border that would reduce KRG dependence on the national oil export grid. Both parties routinely express concern that U.S. policy does not appear to be preventing Prime Minister Maliki from sowing further ethnic and sectarian division within Iraq or encouraging Maliki to build democratically and constitutionally accountable national institutions. The Iraqi government claims that the contemplated Turkey-KRG pipeline deal would violate its sovereignty. Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean119 Since Cyprus became independent of the United Kingdom in 1960, Turkey has viewed itself and has acted as the protector of the island’s ethnic Turkish minority from potential mistreatment by the ethnic Greek majority.120 Responding to Greek and Cypriot political developments that raised concerns about a possible Greek annexation of Cyprus, Turkey’s military intervened in 1974121 117 For further information, see CRS Report R41761, Turkey-U.S. Defense Cooperation: Prospects and Challenges, by Jim Zanotti. 118 Jonathon Burch, “Turkey warns Iraqi PM over sectarian conflict,” Reuters, January 24, 2012. 119 For more information on this subject, see CRS Report R41136, Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive, by Vincent Morelli. 120 Turkey views its protective role as justified given its status as one of the three guaranteeing powers of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee that was signed at the time Cyprus gained its independence. The United Kingdom and Greece are the other two guarantors. 121 Turkish intervention in Cyprus with U.S.-supplied arms prompted Congress to impose an embargo on military (continued...) Congressional Research Service 36 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations and established control over the northern third of the island, prompting an almost total ethnic and de facto political division along geographical lines. That division persists today and is the subject of continuing international efforts aimed at reunification.122 Additionally, according to a New York Times article, “after the 1974 invasion, an estimated 150,000 Turkish settlers arrived in the north of Cyprus, many of them poor and agrarian Turks from the mainland, who Greek Cypriots say are illegal immigrants used by Turkey as a demographic weapon.”123 The ethnic Greek-ruled Republic of Cyprus is internationally recognized as having jurisdiction over the entire island, while the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the northern third has only Turkish recognition. The Republic of Cyprus’s accession to the EU in 2004 and Turkey’s refusal to normalize political and commercial relations with it are seen as a major obstacle to Turkey’s EU membership aspirations. The Cyprus dilemma also hinders effective EU-NATO defense cooperation. Moreover, EU accession may have reduced incentives for Cyprus’s Greek population to make concessions toward a reunification deal. The Greek Cypriots rejected by referendum a United Nations reunification plan (called the Annan plan after then Secretary-General Kofi Annan) in 2004 that the Turkish Cypriot population accepted. Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leaders claim that the Turkish Cypriot regime’s lack of international recognition unfairly denies its people basic economic and political rights, particularly through barriers to trade with and travel to countries other than Turkey. Turkey and Turkish Cypriots have assertively opposed efforts by the Republic of Cyprus and other Eastern Mediterranean countries—most notably Israel—to agree upon a division of offshore energy drilling rights without a solution to the question of the island’s unification.124 The Republic of Cyprus appears to anticipate considerable future export revenue from drilling in the Aphrodite gas field off Cyprus’s southern coast. Congress imposed an embargo on military grants and arms sales to Turkey from 1975 to 1978 in response to Turkey’s use of U.S.-supplied weapons in the 1974 conflict, and several Members remain interested in Cyprus-related issues.125 (...continued) assistance and arms sales to Turkey from 1975 to 1978. This Cold War-era disruption in U.S.-Turkey relations is often cited by analysts as a major factor in Turkey’s continuing efforts to avoid overdependence on the United States or any other country for military equipment or expertise. 122 Turkey retains between 30,000 and 40,000 troops on the island (supplemented by approximately 5,000 Turkish Cypriot soldiers and 26,000 reserves). “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment Eastern Mediterranean, October 30, 2009. This is countered by a Greek Cypriot force of approximately 12,000 (including roughly 1,300 Greek officers and soldiers seconded to Cyprus) with reported access to 50,000 reserves. “Cyprus,” Jane’s World Armies, November 3, 2011. The United Nations maintains a peacekeeping mission (UNFICYP) of approximately 900 personnel within a buffer zone headquartered in Cyprus’s divided capital of Nicosia (known as Lefkosa in Turkish). Since the mission’s inception in 1964, UNFICYP has suffered 179 fatalities. The United Kingdom maintains approximately 3,000 personnel at two sovereign military bases on the southern portion of the island at Akrotiri and Dhekelia. 123 Dan Bilefsky, “On Cyprus Beach, Stubborn Relic of Conflict,” New York Times, August 3, 2012. The CIA World Factbook estimates Cyprus’s total population to be 1,150,000 (77% Greek, 18% Turkish, 5% other). 124 “Gas drilling heightens east Mediterranean tension,” UPI, September 16, 2011. 125 See, e.g., from the 112th Congress, H.Res. 676 (To expose and halt the Republic of Turkey's illegal colonization of the Republic of Cyprus with non-Cypriot populations, to support Cyprus in its efforts to control all of its territory, to end Turkey's illegal occupation of northern Cyprus, and to exploit its energy resources without illegal interference by Turkey.); S.Con.Res. 47 (A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress on the sovereignty of the Republic (continued...) Congressional Research Service 37 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Armenia126 In late 2009, Turkey and Armenia, aided by Swiss mediation, agreed to joint protocols that would have normalized relations and opened borders between the two countries. They also would have called for a dialogue and impartial examination of the historical record with respect to “existing problems,” widely believed to refer to the issue of World War I-era deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians through the actions of Ottoman Empire authorities. Turkish leaders were unwilling to push for parliamentary ratification of the protocols, however, due to Azerbaijani objections to Turkey-Armenia normalization prior to desired progress on the issue of NagornoKarabakh.127 Azerbaijan influences Turkish policy on this issue because of its close cultural and economic ties with Turkey, particularly as Azerbaijan is a key energy supplier. Another possible cause for Turkish reluctance was a 2010 Armenian constitutional court ruling that indicated inflexibility on the genocide issue. Subsequently, Turkey and Armenia have made little or no progress toward ratifying the protocols or otherwise normalizing their relations, though the protocols remain under consideration in Turkey’s parliament.128 The tenor of relations between Turkey and Armenia could be an important factor in a potential congressional debate over a future genocide resolution. Afghanistan Turkey has twice commanded the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has had troops participating in ISAF since shortly after its inception in December 2001. Turkey’s approximately 2,000 troops concentrate on training Afghan military and security forces and providing security in Kabul, where Turkey commands ISAF’s Regional Command-Capital, as well as in Wardak (just west of Kabul) and Jawzjan (in northern Afghanistan) provinces. In addition, some Afghan police are trained in Turkey. As with several other NATO and non-NATO contributors to ISAF, Turkey’s troops are not involved in combat. Turkey’s history of good relations with both Afghanistan and Pakistan and its status as the Muslim-majority country with the greatest level of involvement in ISAF are thought by some analysts to help legitimize ISAF’s presence. These relations could become more important to preparing Afghanistan for stable, self-sufficient rule, with the United States and other ISAF countries scheduled to wind down their military presence in Afghanistan in future years. (...continued) of Cyprus over all of the territory of the island of Cypress [sic].); and H.R. 2597 (American-Owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act). 126 For more information, see CRS Report RL33453, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, by Jim Nichol. 127 Nagorno-Karabakh is a predominantly ethnic-Armenian-populated enclave within Azerbaijan’s international borders. Disputes over its status led to armed conflict in 1991 in parallel with the Soviet Union’s dissolution and the independence of both Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict ended with a 1994 ceasefire, but Armenian troops still occupy portions of the territory. The Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (cochaired by the United States, Russia, and France, and including both Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as Turkey and a number of other European countries) has been trying to negotiate a permanent settlement since then. 128 In the meantime, Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a 10-year security and mutual assistance agreement in August 2010. Congressional Research Service 38 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations European Union129 The Turkish government uses its demographic profile to support its bid for EU membership, arguing that the country would bring a young, dynamic population to the aging ranks of Europe and boost EU influence in the Muslim world. Turkey first sought to associate itself with what was then the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1959, and Turkey and the EEC entered into an agreement of association in 1963. Since the end of 1995, Turkey has had a full customs union with the EU, which is viewed by many observers as one of the primary drivers of the competitive surge of Turkey’s economy during the 2000s.130 Turkey also is a member of the Council of Europe, along with several other non-EU states (including Russia), and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Council’s European Court of Human Rights. EU accession talks, which began in 2005, have been stalled owing to the opposition of key EU states—most notably France and Germany—to Turkey’s full membership. Opponents generally give empirical reasons for their positions, but many analysts argue that resistance to Turkish EU accession is rooted in a fear that Turkey’s large Muslim population would fundamentally change the cultural character of the EU and dilute the power of the EU’s founding Western European states to drive the policy agenda. As mentioned above, Turkey’s unwillingness to normalize diplomatic and trade relations with EU member Cyprus presents a major obstacle to its accession prospects.131 Other EU concerns over Turkey’s qualifications for membership center on the treatment of Kurds and religious minorities, media freedoms, women’s rights, and the proper and transparent functioning of Turkey’s democratic and legal systems.132 One U.S.-based European analyst writes, “Turkey’s process of alignment with EU laws and standards is still very incomplete and interest in this goal seems to have weakened as political forces that once embraced the goal [as a means for facilitating Turkish domestic reform] have become stronger and more self-reliant.”133 Turkish domestic expectations of and support for full accession to the EU were apparently already waning when fundamental concerns arose over the economic and political soundness of the EU given the ongoing eurozone crisis.134 Nevertheless, the EU provides over $1 billion in annual pre-accession financial and technical assistance to Turkey aimed at harmonizing its economy, society, bureaucracy, and political system with those of EU members.135 129 For more information on this subject, see CRS Report RS22517, European Union Enlargement: A Status Report on Turkey’s Accession Negotiations, by Vincent Morelli. 130 Council on Foreign Relations, op. cit., p. 18. 131 Turkey’s unwillingness to open its ports to Greek Cypriot trade according to the Additional Protocol that it signed at the outset of the accession process in 2005 prompted the EU Council to block eight out of the 35 chapters of the acquis communautaire that Turkey would be required to meet to the Council’s satisfaction in order to gain EU membership. France blocked five additional chapters in 2007 and the Republic of Cyprus blocked six in 2009. France unblocked one chapter in early 2013, in what some analysts interpreted as a portent for better prospects of Turkey’s eventual accession. Thus far, one of the chapters has been fully negotiated, and 13 others have been opened. 132 European Commission Staff Working Document, Turkey 2012 Progress Report, October 10, 2012. 133 Emiliano Alessandri, “Turkey-EU Relations: Back to Basics?”, On Turkey, German Marshall Fund of the United States, February 27, 2013. 134 Dan Bilefsky, “For Turkey, Lure of Tie to Europe Is Fading,” New York Times, December 4, 2011. According to the Transatlantic Trends surveys of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the percentage of Turks who think that Turkish EU membership would be a good thing was 73% in 2004 and 48% in 2011. 135 See http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/instruments/funding-by-country/turkey/index_en.htm for further information. Congressional Research Service 39 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Other International Relationships As Turkey continues to exercise increased political and economic influence, it seeks to establish and strengthen relationships with non-Western global powers. It is expanding trade and defense industrial ties with China,136 Russia, and other countries in Asia and Africa. In June 2012, Turkey became a “dialogue partner” of the China- and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and Prime Minister Erdogan made remarks in early 2013 hinting at possible Turkish interest in an even greater role in the SCO.137 Turkey also has held joint military exercises with China on Turkish soil. Turkey additionally seeks to expand the scope of its geographical influence, with its officials sometimes comparing its historical links and influence with certain countries—especially former territories of the Ottoman Empire—to the relationship of Britain with its commonwealth. Through hands-on political involvement, as well as increased private trade and investment and public humanitarian and development projects, Turkey has enhanced its influence and image as a leading Muslim-majority democracy with Muslim-populated countries not only in the Middle East, but also in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.138 136 Richard Weitz, “China-Turkey Summit: Economic Enticements Overshadow Differences,” Turkey Analyst, vol. 5, no. 6, March 19, 2012. 137 “Turkey seeks observer member status in SCO,” hurriyetdailynews.com, February 1, 2013. Turkey is the only NATO member formally affiliated with the SCO. 138 See, e.g., Hajrudin Somun, “Turkish Foreign Policy in the Balkans and ‘Neo-Ottomanism’: A Personal Account,” Insight Turkey, vol. 13, no. 3, summer 2011; Yigal Schleifer, “Turkey’s Neo-Ottoman Problem,” World Politics Review, February 16, 2010; Greg Bruno, “Turkey’s Near Abroad,” Council on Foreign Relations Analysis Brief, September 19, 2008. Congressional Research Service 40 Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations Appendix E. Congressional Committee Reports of Armenian Genocide-Related Proposed Resolutions Date Reported or of Vote for Report Proposed Resolution(s) Committee April 5, 1984 S.J.Res. 87 Senate Judiciary September 28, 1984 S.Res. 241 Senate Foreign Relations July 9, 1985 H.J.Res. 192 House Post Office and Civil Service July 23, 1987 H.J.Res. 132 House Post Office and Civil Service August 3, 1987 H.Res. 238 House Rules October 18, 1989 S.J.Res. 212 Senate Judiciary October 11, 2000 H.Res. 596 and H.Res. 625 House Rules October 10, 2007 H.Res. 106 House Foreign Affairs March 4, 2010 H.Res. 252 House Foreign Affairs Author Contact Information Jim Zanotti Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs jzanotti@crs.loc.gov, 7-1441 Congressional Research Service 41