The 246th Independence Day of the United States was celebrated in Ankara with a reception at the Ambassador’s Residence with high-level attendance.
Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakcı attended the reception hosted by US Ambassador to Turkey Jeffry Flake and also delivered a speech. Recalling that just after 20 years after the independence of the United States, the Ottomans and Washington entered into a cooperation and a commercial agreement, Kaymakci said that these links continue in the same way today, because the two countries are of powerful NATO allies who shape transatlantic security.
Kaymakci touched on the economic relations of the two countries, saying that the target of 100 billion dollars (1.6 trillion Turkish liras) in trade volume has not yet been reached.
“I believe that Turkey and the United States can achieve this. About 2,000 American companies trust us and invest. The scale of their investment is approximately $15 billion. Similarly, Turkish companies are investing in the United States”
“We have overlapping policies with the United States, from Afghanistan to Kosovo, from the Balkans to Africa,” Kaymakci continued, indicating that while disagreements may occur, the two countries are allies.
Flake, for his part, said: “It is an absolute honor to represent my country in such an important position as Turkey, a country that always finds itself at the center of things, both politically and geographically.”
“Ever since our GIs and your Mehmetçiks fought side by side to repel a war of aggression in Korea, America and Turkey have worked together to defend the independence and freedom of other nations, from Korea to Kuwait via Kosovo.”
The envoy stressed that independence has been a vital concept in the history of both countries and said, “We are here today to celebrate independence. How important is it to be independent? The great founding father of this nation, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, said: “It would be better for the (Turkish) nation to perish than to live in captivity. Independence or death! The same driving principle guided our founding fathers in their quest for independence.
“Of course, with $28 billion in trade last year between the United States and Turkey – an increase of more than 30% over the previous year – it’s not just the security ties which bind our two countries”, he continued, adding that an important collaboration also exists in the sectors of culture and education.