During her recent visit to Turkey, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Turkish leaders to discuss various issues including, terrorism. She said the United States' commitment to Turkey and its security is "rock solid and unwavering," as it confronts the terrorist threat posed by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. "As allies," said Secretary Clinton, "we salute the resolve not to be intimidated by terrorists who threaten the stability of the entire region, and we will continue to stand with Turkey in its efforts to defeat this threat."
Secretary Clinton also addressed the increased economic cooperation between the U.S. and Turkey. So far, this year, trade between the two countries is up more than 50 percent. That means more jobs and greater prosperity in both countries. But there is room for even greater growth in the years ahead. Turkey will host the second Global Entrepreneurship Summit later this year. It is also an active participant in the Global Entrepreneurship Program and numerous public outreach programs that provide an opportunity to link Turkish high schools and universities and the next generation of Turkish business leaders with young counterparts in the United States.
Secretary Clinton encouraged Turkish leaders to address concerns over media freedom. "If there is an area that I am concerned about with recent actions, it is the area of freedom of expression and freedom of the media," said Secretary Clinton at a media event with young Turkish profesionals. "I do not think it is necessary or in Turkey's interest," she said, "to be cracking down on journalists and bloggers and the Internet." Turkey's institutions should be able to withstand the scrutiny and debate that a free press brings. Secretary Clinton also called on Turkish officials to continue the constitutional reform process that would bring Turkey closer toward European Union membership, which the United States strongly supports.
Two years ago the United States pledged to renew its alliance with Turkey. Today, said Secretary Clinton, "we can say with confidence that our bonds are sound, our friendship is sure, and our alliance is strong." It is through a shared democratic tradition that the United States welcomes Turkey’s rise as an economic power, as a leader in the region and beyond, and as a valued ally on the most pressing global challenges.