Turkey has long been considered a strategic U.S. and NATO ally. That it combines a predominantly Muslim identity with a secular democratic government has added to Turkey's significance to the United States since September 11, 2001. A number of foreign policy issues join U.S. and Turkish interests. In the war on terrorism, Turkey is playing a major role in Afghanistan, where it will assume command of the international peacekeeping force. Yet, Turkey is reluctant to see the war expand to Iraq. The United States has been Turkey's main arms source and, after a three-year hiatus, the United States resumed providing assistance to Turkey after September 11. The amount of aid is expected to increase sharply in view of U.S. support for Turkey's command of peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan. For its part, Turkey would like U.S.-Turkish trade to get more attention.
CRS Report for Congress, RL31429