Turkey: Situation Update

Turkey's year-long experiment with Islamist-led government ended in July, when a multi-party secularist coalition headed by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz took office for what is viewed as a transition to early national elections sometime in 1998. The political situation is fluid. The government is addressing some economic problems and redirecting Turkey's foreign policy back toward the West and toward Turkic kin in Azerbaijan and Central Asia. There are problems in Turkey's relations with the European Union, with efforts to reach an international settlement on Cyprus, and in Turkish-Greek ties. The Administration and Congress are continuing to focus on security, democracy, and human rights in the U.S. dialogue with Ankara.