On October 29, we marked the 92nd Anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, and I want to wish the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish people and all Turkish Americans a happy belated Republic Day.
As we celebrate this momentous anniversary, it is an appropriate time to take a moment to reflect on the relations between the U.S. and Turkey – both in the past and as they stand today.
Upon its founding in 1923, the Republic of Turkey’s democratic principles and the political reforms and ideology implemented by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk made Turkey a natural partner for the United States in the region. So, it is not surprising then that Turkey has been an important ally of the United States for decades.
That partnership was further cemented through the Truman Doctrine and by Turkey’s help during the Korean War as well as its willingness to join NATO in 1952. From an American perspective, the strategic importance of Turkey as a member of the NATO alliance, particularly during the Cold War, cannot be overstated.
Throughout the Cold War and beyond, the United States and the Republic of Turkey have maintained political, economic and military ties that have benefited and strengthened each nation. Now, as we move forward to face the challenges of the 21st Century, we must preserve those ties and hopefully strengthen U.S.-Turkish relations.
And make no mistake the challenges are significant. From Syria to Iran to fundamentalist regimes that wish to undermine our shared democratic values, we face numerous threats throughout the region, and Turkey, in particular, is shouldering a considerable amount of the burden.
With all of this in mind, I think it is only fitting that the United States government acknowledge the importance of Turkey to the region as well as honor the relationship between the two nations. That is why on October 21, I introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to commemorate the founding of the Republic of Turkey, and to recognize the key strategic partner it has been, and continues to be, for the U.S. and Western Europe.
During my lifetime, Americans have only known the Republic of Turkey as a friend and an ally. While we don’t always agree, more often than not, the two nations can count on each other’s support. And in the coming years as we face new challenges, I would like, and I think the American people would like, to see that relationship grow and flourish. It is my hope that my legislation is a step in that direction.
United States Representative / Congressman