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Historical Examinations and Current Issues in Turkish-American Relations

Edited By Ozan Örmeci and Huseyin Işıksal

The book aims to analyze Turkish-American relations. In order to improve its consistency and reliability, the volume is based on a chronological and thematic study of Turkish-American relations. Meticulous consideration has been given to the categorization and presentation of the contributions in order to ensure that the study operates in a relative manner, and the topic is categorized and narrowed down suitably. For this purpose, the volume is divided into three main parts and it maintains that each section’s contribution retains analytical cogency and descriptive relevancy to the preceding sections.

The book is prepared as a reference work as a collection of unpublished original chapters. It provides an insight into the widely discussed but not carefully analyzed topic by examining different aspects of Turkish-American relations from a historical point of view. It aims to analyze the roots of the Turkish-American relations and the direction in which they are going. It focuses on the political, economic, social, identity, and security interaction between the two actors. In this way, it aims to contribute to the scholarly literature in this field with original chapters on selected themes, especially in these unsettling and interesting times.

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Chapter 5 : The Image of the U.S. in Turkey: A Historical View (Merve Şıvgın)

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Merve Şıvgın1

Chapter 5: The Image of the U.S. in Turkey: A Historical View

Abstract: The perceptions of the world about the United States (U.S.) are generally in two polar opposites. For some, the U.S. is the sole superpower of the world; the ‘land of freedom’, and opportunities offering the most envied way of life on the planet fascinating with the iconic images of White House, Oval Office, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, and the Hollywood sign. For others, it is an ‘imperialist monster’ with an uncontrollable appetite for war and occupation, the exporter of vulgar consumption culture, and the land of extreme income inequalities. It features startling images of the torture in the Abu Ghraib Prison and homeless people on the streets of the American cities. The picture is not different in Turkey. There are two sides of the coin: admirers and haters; both of which have similar images as the rest of the world. The dual images of the much-admired country of dreams and the land of the devil go hand in hand. These two different perceptions of the Americans have been engraved in people’s minds over many decades and through various means; the most important of them being the printed and visual media. The projection of a strong American image during the Cold War is beyond a doubt the most important reason for a favorable Turkish public opinion toward the U.S. The end of the Second World War is year zero of...

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