It is said that a messenger from Sultan Selim III, who greeted Naval Captain William Bainbridge, the first American official to visit Istanbul, upon noticing the stars in the US flag remarked that it was 'a good omen of the future of friendly discourse which would exist between the two nations, as that of Turkey was one of the heavenly bodies, and therefore must be some analogy between the people, laws, religion, habits and manners of the Americans and the Muslims'.
More than two hundred years after Captain Bainbridge's visit, Turkish and American mutual interests have expanded significantly and developed into what President Clinton termed 'a strategic partnership' at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Although the key component of that partnership, security cooperation has been strained of late due to divergence of opinion regarding war in Iraq, the relationship has strong foundations and has survived.
This book presents a colorful and analytical picture of the many aspects of Turkish -American relations from the early years of the nineteenth century to the post cold war era, providing excellent reference for study of their impact as well as for a deeper understanding of the Balkans, Caucasus, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern politics. The contributors represent a broad and knowledgeable community of commentators.