We wanted to portray our support for our ally Turkey: US Joint Chiefs of Staff
Nalan Koçak - ISTANBUL
The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Hürriyet Daily News on March 6 that they wanted to portray their support for their “Turkish ally and reinforce that the U.S. and Turkey enjoy a strong relationship,” in a statement when asked about Turkey-themed photos the U.S. military posted on its Twitter account.
Last month, first the U.S. Navy and Naval Forces Europe and later the Joint Chiefs of Staff posted on their official Twitter accounts Turkey-related pictures as cover photos. The latest photo showed Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces Gen. Yaşar Güler and Turkish ambassador to the U.S. Serdar Kılıç after a meeting at the Pentagon on Feb. 22.
The posts received a considerable amount of attention especially among Turkish Twitter users, as some claimed Washington meant to convey political messages through these photos. Dunford’s office responded to these claims in an e-mail, saying: “The Joint Chiefs of Staff regularly update our Twitter cover photos and website following counterpart visits. Generally, the images are meant to show support and solidarity with our allies and partners.”
But Washington also stressed a specific message was given with the Turkey-themed photos.
“The specific image you refer to is meant to portray our support of our Turkish ally and reinforce that the U.S. and Turkey enjoy a strong and continuous military-to-military relationship as key members of the NATO alliance,” the U.S. army said.