A pretty notable piece written for the Brookings Institute here
. While posted in November 2005, it has a lot of explantory power IMO.
Today, more than two years after the invasion of Iraq, Turkey has yet to lose its potential to disappoint Washington. As the second Bush administration is stepping up its profreedom rhetoric in the Middle East, it is quite disconcerting that the most democratic Muslim country in the region shows no signs of solidarity with the United States. Quite the opposite, Turkey is often in the news for its rampant anti-Americanism and solidarity with Bashar's Syria. Polls after polls confirm that growing numbers of Turks perceive their NATO ally more as a national security threat, rather than a strategic partner. One of the flashiest symptoms of Turkish distrust towards the United States is the best-selling novel in the country, which depicts a Turkish-American war over Kirkuk in northern Iraq.
What went wrong? Why has Turkey become the most anti-American country in the West? One needs to go beyond the generic and global phenomenon of Bush-bashing in order to fully grasp the dynamics behind Turkish anti-Americanism. In many ways, Turkey is a sui-generis case. Recent polls illustrate that while anti-Americanism is in relative decline in Europe, the trend in Turkey is in the opposite direction. Moreover, unlike past domestic trends, the current wave of anti-Americanism in Turkey seems to be embraced by all segments of Turkish society. For all these reasons, the Turkish case needs to be analyzed in a historical and comparative perspective. This essay is an attempt to do so.