US top soldier strongly condemns coup attempt in Turkey
DHA photoThe United States’ top soldier strongly condemned the failed July 15 coup attempt in Turkey during a visit to the country on Aug. 1, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Joint Staff.
Dunfold “will deliver messages condemning in the strongest terms the recent coup attempt,” an Aug. 1 statement from his office stated ahead of the meeting.
The U.S. commander was also scheduled to visit İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana to speak to U.S. personnel stationed at the base who are fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“[The visit] reaffirms the importance of our enduring partnership for regional security as symbolized by coalition operations out of İncirlik in the counter-ISIL fight and the importance of Turkey’s contributions to both the counter-ISIL coalition and NATO alliances,” read the statement.
Akar and Dunford have held two phone conversations since the coup attempt to set things right, particularly on İncirlik, which was closed for a couple of days after the attempt, as well regarding U.S. flights over Syria.
Dunford’s visit comes days after Erdoğan slammed a high-ranking U.S. military authority over remarks expressing concern about the ongoing fight against ISIL after a massive reshuffle and suspensions in the Turkish army.
“We’ve certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders and military leaders in particular, so I’m concerned about what the impact is on those relationships. Some of them are in jail now,” Gen. Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Central Command, which is leading the ISIL fight, said in a conference in Aspen on July 28.
Late on July 15, a group of military personnel tried to topple the Turkish government in a coup. The attempt failed after security forces took hold of the situation while citizens took to the streets to defend “democracy,” after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on the people to do so. More than 250 people died during the failed coup attempt, including on Istanbul’s main bridges over the Bosphorus and at special forces headquarters in Ankara.