Mattis Meets With Senior Turkish Leaders in Ankara

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis today met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shakes hands with Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli while in Ankara, Turkey.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shakes hands with Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli while in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 23, 2017. Mattis also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan later in the day. DoD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shakes hands with Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli while in Ankara, Turkey. Mattis Visits
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shakes hands with Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli while in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 23, 2017. Mattis also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan later in the day. DoD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr

This was the first meeting between Mattis and Canikli, White said. The two leaders discussed the need for ongoing open and honest dialogue, the importance of territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq and concern over Iran's malign influence in the region, she said.

Defeating ISIS

White said Mattis and Canikli further reaffirmed their shared resolve to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Later in the day, Mattis met with the Turkish president, and the two leaders discussed regional security and strategy, White said.

White said Mattis expressed to Erdoğan the United States’ commitment to its bilateral relationship with Turkey.

Mattis also addressed Turkey's legitimate security concerns, White said.

Mattis and Erdoğan expressed a shared interest for the two countries to create conditions for a more stable and secure region, she said.