United States Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone met with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan's Chief Advisor Yalçın Akdoğan on Wednesday in the capital. The meeting, held at the ruling Justice and Democracy Party (AK Party) General Headquarters was prearranged by request of the U.S. Embassy. Ricciardone spoke to reporters following the hour-long meeting, during which he stated, "We emphasized once again our trust in Turkey's democracy."
Ambassador Ricciardone went on to explain that he upholds close relations with the government's ministers and also speaks with the opposition and stated, "We are Turkey's friend and ally. We place high importance on our Turkey's power and our shared common interests.
There is no deviation in views when it comes to freedom of expression and the freedom of democratic assembly. We trust in Turkey's democracy," stated Ricciardone. Explaining that the meeting was held based on a high-level principle, Ricciardone stated, "The United States has reaffirmed its trust in Turkey's democracy. We have renewed our trust in the Turkish government in terms of freedom of expression and the freedom of peaceful assembly."