On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I offer my warmest wishes to the people of Turkey as you celebrate 90 years since the founding of the Republic of Turkey on October 29.
Our nations share a long history of friendship and cooperation based on common interests and values. As close NATO Allies for over 60 years, we have worked together to promote peace and prosperity around the world. The United States values our close working relationship with Turkey on a range of critical global challenges, including Syria, countering terrorism, and economic cooperation.
During my first 100 days as Secretary of State, I visited Turkey three times in order to continue this important work. I enjoyed the warm hospitality of many friends in Ankara and Istanbul and laid a wreath at Anitkabir in honor of Ataturk. This past May, I was delighted to join Foreign Minister Davutoglu at the White House when President Obama hosted Prime Minister Erdogan.
Our alliance is especially strong because of the close ties between our people. Turkey sends more students to American colleges and universities than any other European country. We are also seeking to strengthen commercial ties between American and Turkish businesses, as well as to deepen the social and cultural ties that bind our people together in friendship.
I wish Turkey and its citizens a happy holiday as you celebrate this special anniversary. The United States looks forward to deepening our cooperation as you carry forward Ataturk's vision of a strong, free, and democratic Turkey.