EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The present Turkish-American diplomatic crisis is fundamentally different from other such crises in 1964 or 1975. Turkish public sentiment in the 1960s and 1970s was largely pro-American (and anti-Soviet). Today, 79% of Turks have an unfavorable opinion of the US. Also, the earlier Turkish-American crises were largely single-case issues whereas the current one is multi-dimensional – and more difficult to resolve.
Officially speaking, Turkey and the US are NATO allies and strategic partners. These days their relationship looks like anything but an alliance or a partnership. This has not happened overnight.
In 1964, US President Lyndon Johnson cautioned Turkey against rash military moves it might be planning in Cyprus. The famous “Johnson letter” prompted Turkish PM Ismet Inönü to convene his cabinet in emergency session. That was the first serious crack between America and its southeast European ally, a country that guarded one of the West’s Soviet frontiers. The Johnson letter was also the first incident to spark (largely left-wing) anti-Americanism in Turkey.