In this thesis I trace how the representations of the Turkish-American security relationship have changed between 2001 and 2010 in U.S. and Turkish discourse.
Both Turkish and American governments have represented the security relationship in a mainly positive manner for most of these years. But while these representations of a solid security relationship were dominant in both countries in 2001, the alternative representations of distrust towards the other country have to an increasing extent been setting the agenda in both countries in the period up to 2010.
In U.S. discourse, the identification of Turkey has changed from a “secular ally” to a “Muslim ally”. This has opened up for more criticism of Turkey in the American debate up to 2010, particularly of Turkey as a country which is becoming Islamized or moving East.
In Turkish discourse the United States was represented as a strong security partner in the beginning of the period. This changed towards a representation of a country which acted as a threat to two pillars of the Turkish identity: territorial unity and the principle of secularism.
According to Bahar Rumelili (2007: 1; see also Deutsch et al. 1957; Adler and Barnett 1998), countries with a security relationship may share a kind of community “when interstate relations are governed by shared identity and mutual trust”. The main finding of this thesis is that the shared identity and mutual trust between Turkey and the United States has been reduced in this period. This has consequences for the degree of cooperation in security questions between the two countries.