In a world that the U.S. no longer dominates as it once did, President Barack Obama has sought to forge strong relations with rising powers like India and Brazil. Turkey, however, is the one rising power that is located in the danger zone of the Middle East; it’s no coincidence that Obama chose to include Turkey in his first overseas trip and spoke glowingly of the “model partnership” between the two countries. This fits perfectly with Turkey’s ambition to be a global as well as a regional player.
And yet, despite all the mutual interests, and all of Davutoglu’s energy and innovation, something has gone very wrong over the last year. The Turks, led by Davutoglu, have embarked on diplomatic ventures with Israel and Iran, America’s foremost ally and its greatest adversary in the region, that have left officials and political leaders in Washington fuming. Obama administration officials are no longer sure whose side Turkey is on.