Turkey’s recent history has placed it at odds with Europe and the United States, leading some to suggest that Ankara has become an unreliable ally. Such a view is short-sighted. Turkey remains geostrategically important for a variety of reasons arising from both its pivotal location and its history. This article seeks to take the long view, placing recent developments in their historical context. Turkey’s distinctive and long history is key to both analysis of the current situation, and evaluation of appropriate foreign policies toward Europe, the Middle East, the United States and the wider international system.