Obama on Turkey: A Partnership that Delivers

"As allies, our commitment to our collective defense is unwavering"

From Barack Obama, White House:  Turkey and the United States have been partners since shortly after the birth of the modern Turkish Republic.   As NATO allies, we have defended our common security for more than six decades.  And in the United States we are grateful for the many Turkish-Americans who enrich our national life every day. . . .

As allies, our commitment to our collective defense is unwavering, as demonstrated by NATO’s deployment of Patriot missile defenses to help protect the Turkish people.   And I applaud the prime minister’s courageous efforts to seek a lasting peace in Turkey after the PKK violence that has taken so many innocent lives.  The United States strongly supports Turkey’s efforts to defend itself from terrorism, even as we support efforts to uphold rule of law, good governance and human rights.  

Just as our nations stood together after the attack this year on our embassy compound in Ankara, we condemn last week’s outrageous bombings in Reyhanli, which killed innocent Turkish civilians.  To our Turkish friends, we say basiniz sag olsun.  In Washington, we’ll have the opportunity to deepen our security cooperation, including against the threat from terrorist groups like al-Qaeda.        

Second, we can continue increasing U.S.-Turkish trade and create more jobs for our people.  Our aerospace companies are moving ahead with $3.5 billion deal to jointly build our most advanced helicopter.  American and Turkish pharmaceutical and research firms can partner to realize state-of-the art Turkish health care.  We can collaborate on clean energy and energy efficiency to meet Turkey’s growing energy needs.  And our technology companies can help put the most advanced educational tools in the hands of Turkish children and help turn Turkey into a regional hub of educational software and innovation. . . .

[W]e need to keep working together to end the Assad regime’s horrific slaughter of the Syrian people.  Prime Minister Erdogan and I will discuss how we can keep increasing the pressure on the Assad regime, strengthening the moderate opposition, and preparing for a transition to a democratic Syria without Bashar Assad.  At the same time, the United States will continue to provide critical humanitarian relief to Syrian refugees, including those in Turkey who owe so much to the tremendous generosity of the Turkish people.

Finally, given Turkey’s growing role on the world stage, I look forward to consulting with Prime Minister Erdogan on global challenges.  Our forces continue to serve bravely together in Afghanistan, where Afghans will soon take the lead for their own security.  We’re partners in promoting security and stability in Africa.  And as members of the G-20, we can help sustain the global economic recovery with a focus on creating jobs and opportunity for our people.  

Excerpts from English text of Op-Ed by President Barack Obama in Turkish by Turkish Daily “Sabah."   (photo: AFP)

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