Trump celebrates Turkey’s Republic Day with message

Trump celebrates Turkey’s Republic Day with message

Cansu Çamlıbel - WASHINGTON
Trump celebrates Turkey’s Republic Day with message

U.S. President Donald Trump celebrated the 94th anniversary of Turkey’s Republic Day with an official message on Oct. 29, amid heightened tension between the two NATO allies leading to the mutual suspension of visa services.

In his message read out by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon Jr. during a reception hosted by Turkish Ambassador to U.S. Serdar Kılıç on Oct. 27, Trump emphasized the long-time alliance between the two countries.

The message was actually the celebration letter sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for Republic Day, as part of U.S. diplomatic practices on national days.

“On behalf of the American people, I would like to extend my best wishes to the Turkish people for the 94th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. The two NATO allies have been standing side by side for over 60 years,” Trump said.

He stressed the importance of the alliance between the two countries to improve regional security against all kinds of terrorism, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“The U.S. once again underlines its unwavering support to the democratic institutions in Turkey and re-emphasizes that it condemns the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. We appreciate the bravery of committed Turkish citizens to defend their democracy on that tragic day,” Trump also stated.

He also noted that 2017 marked the 150th anniversary of Turkey sending its first ambassador to the U.S., which showed how far back relations between the two countries go.

Trump said his conversations with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the latter’s visits to the country in May and at the U.N. General Assembly in September showed the value of bilateral relations, while he also appreciated Turkey’s ongoing efforts to host over 3 million refugees.