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Carter Travels to Turkey, Meets With Turkish Leaders

Oct. 21, 2016 , DOD News

Defense Secretary Ash Carter met today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Defense Minister Fikri Işık in Ankara, Turkey, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook announced in a readout of the meetings.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter talks with Turkish Minister of National Defense Fikri Işık in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 21, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
Defense Secretary Ash Carter talks with Turkish Minister of National Defense Fikri Işık in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 21, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
Defense Secretary Ash Carter talks with Turkish Minister of National Defense Fikri Işık in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 21, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
SD visits Turkey
Defense Secretary Ash Carter talks with Turkish Minister of National Defense Fikri Işık in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 21, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
Photo By: Brigitte N. Brantley
VIRIN: 161021-D-GO396-402

The defense 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, Cook said.

During the productive talks, the press secretary said, Carter 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 its NATO ally against shared threats.

The defense secretary thanked Erdoğan for Turkey's resolve in the fight against terrorism and Turkey's critical support in Syria and Iraq for the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Cook said. Carter and Turkey’s president discussed recent successes against ISIL in Operation Euphrates Shield and he congratulated Erdoğan on the critical role Turkey played in the recent seizure of Dabiq by Syrian opposition forces, the press secretary said.

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, Cook said, noting that 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.