Release No: NR-375-16
Oct. 21, 2016
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, and Minister of National Defense Fikri Işık for meetings today in Ankara. The secretary also toured the Turkish Parliament building where he saw damage from the recent coup attempt and expressed his condolences to all those who lost their lives defending Turkey's democratically-elected government. During the productive talks, the secretary reaffirmed his support for the long-term, strategic alliance between the United States and Turkey and vowed the United States would continue to stand side-by-side with our NATO ally against shared threats. Secretary Carter thanked the president for Turkey's resolve in the fight against terrorism and Turkey's critical support for the counter-ISIL campaign in Syria and Iraq. The secretary and president discussed recent successes against ISIL in Operation Euphrates Shield, and Secretary Carter congratulated President Erdoğan on the critical role Turkey played in the recent seizure of Dabiq by Syrian opposition forces. Also discussed was the need to solidify and consolidate gains in Operation Euphrates Shield, to include increasing military cooperation and enhancing civilian and humanitarian work. Both sides agreed to maintain frequent communication on the full range of mutual interests, including close coordination and continued transparency in the coalition effort to deal ISIL a lasting defeat.