A symbolic gesture by U.S. President Donald Trump reiterating alliance with Turkey left its mark to the Republic Day reception at the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C. Saturday as relations between two countries have been experiencing a tumultuous period.
The reception, which was held to commemorate the 94th anniversary of the proclamation of the republic, was attended by Turkish embassy staff and government officials in the U.S. and by other foreign representatives.
Following the opening ceremony with Turkish and American national anthems, Ambassador Serdar Kılıç read President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's message for the day that has been observed as the most important national holiday in Turkey.
Following the message, Thomas A. Shannon Jr., Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, came to the stage and read Trump's unexpected message, which was the first Republic Day message from a U.S. president in a long time.
"On behalf of the American people, I would like to extend my best wishes to the Turkish people for the 94th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. The two NATO allies have been standing side by side for over 60 years," Trump said.
The U.S. president also underlined that the two allies have been showing efforts to defend regional stability against all terrorist groups, including Daesh and PKK.
"The U.S. once again underlines its unwavering support to the democratic institutions in Turkey and re-emphasizes that it condemns the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. We appreciate the bravery of committed Turkish citizens to defend their democracy on that tragic day," Trump said.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Turkey sending its first ambassador to the U.S., and it shows how old the relations between the two countries are, Trump said, noting that his dialogues with President Erdoğan's visits to the U.S. in May and during the U.N. General Assembly meetings in September shows the value of bilateral relations.
Trump also appreciated Turkey's efforts to host over three million refugees.