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Practically all of the conflicts between the United States and Turkey, both past and present, can be explained by American lack of sensitivity to Turkish emotional responses and Turkish overreaction to perceived American arrogance. There is a tendency by Turks to focus heavily on their own sense of outrage while downplaying the emotional effects of their own actions. Any discussion of emotion and modern Turkey must begin with the abortive Treaty of Sevres (1920) and the honored Treaty of Lausanne (1923), and American diplomats and political leaders must be thoroughly familiar with both in order to work successfully with Turkey. However, the understanding of the Treaty of Lausanne by the public at large in Turkey is deeply colored by emotion. Emotions arising from religious differences clearly need to be controlled, and religious labels are a poor substitute for an objective evaluation of national interests.

 

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David L. Arnett
David L. Arnett
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