Since its inception in 1995, The Washington Institute's Turkish Research Program has established itself as the most influential center in Washington for research and information on Turkey -- a predominantly Muslim, secular, and democratic U.S. ally. Under the leadership of founding director Alan Makovsky and interim director Helena Kane Finn, the program introduced the Washington policymaking community to Turkey's leading political, diplomatic, military, and academic figures.
“Turkey stands at the crossroads of almost every issue of importance to the United States on the Eurasian continent.”
UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke
As Turkish foreign policy in the twenty-first century has become more complex, assertive, and creative in its response to multiplying regional challenges and demands, Turkey has also assumed a new, multidimensional role in U.S. foreign-policy planning.
Under the direction of Soner Cagaptay, the Turkish Research Program has responded by actively engaging policymakers in discussion about Turkey's political, diplomatic, and strategic environment. Through its research and publications, Policy Forum luncheons, media appearances, congressional testimony, and seminars -- along with special programs such as the Turgut Ozal memorial lecture series and the innovative Turkish Military Fellowship -- the Turkish Research Program discerns trends in Turkish foreign policy and the impact those trends may have on both U.S. interests and U.S.-Turkish relations.