Obama: Coup did not impair Turkey-US security ties
Turkey 'an important partner for a whole range of issues in the region,' Obama says, Anadolu Agency reported.
A recent failed coup in Turkey did not have “a diminishing effect” on security relations between Ankara and Washington, President Barack Obama told CNN while en route to China.
“Turkey continues to be a strong NATO ally,” Obama said. “They are working with us to defeat ISIL and are an important partner for a whole range of issues in the region,” the American leader said in an exclusive interview to be aired Sunday in a special edition of Fareed Zakaria GPS.
Obama will meet Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, and is expected to discuss the July 15 overthrow attempt and other security issues in the region.
Asked if he is worried about Turkey's stability, Obama said the country has gone “through a political and civil earthquake” and it would rebuild itself.
“They have got to rebuild and how they rebuild is going to be important and what we want to do is to indicate to them that we support the Turkish people,” he said.
With respect to the Turkish government’s crackdown on the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, or FETO, accused of leading the putsch attempt, Obama added: “Like any good friend, we want to give them honest feedback if we think that the steps they are taking are going to be contrary to their long-term interests and our partnership.”
The failed coup has strained relations between the U.S. and Turkey as the alleged leader of the coup, Fetullah Gulen, resides in the state of Pennsylvania and officials in Turkey have voiced concerns about Washington’s apparent reluctance to extradite the secretive FETO leader.
Obama will meet for the last time as president with G20 leaders, before attending a regional gathering in Laos.