US supports Turkey’s democracy, says Ambassador Ricciardone
İZMİR – Anatolia News Agency
Ricciardone’s remarks came after his visit to southeastern Turkey last week, where he had reiterated Washington’s support for Turkey’s ongoing peace process. AA photoU.S. Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone said July 1 that Washington supported its ally Turkey’s democracy, and Turkish citizens coming together in a peaceful way through freedom of speech, speaking at American Independence Day celebrations in İzmir.
“As an ally and friend, we stand for Turkey and its democracy and support all Turkish citizens’ right to come together in a peaceful way through freedom of speech,” Ricciardone told a reception held by the Aegean Free Zone to mark the 237th independence anniversary.
“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. ‘For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people,’” said Ricciardone, quoting former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.
In his speech, Ricciardone also emphasized the importance of American investors in the Aegean region, adding that American companies operating in the Aegean Free Zone support Turkish democracy as much as any Turkish citizen.
The ambassador’s speech came after his visit to southeastern Turkey last week, where he had reiterated Washington’s support for Turkey’s ongoing peace process.
About 300 guests, including İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak, attended the ceremony. The guests were treated to the sounds of New Orleans jazz performed by jazz band To Be Continued, who will also be performing at the Istanbul Jazz Festival this week.