U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday called National Defense Minister Fikri Işık to voice support for the democratically elected government in Ankara following the recent failed coup attempt. The call came four days after the coup attempt by a faction of officers in the Turkish Armed Forces linked to U.S.-based, retired imam Fetullah Gulen.
"For his part, Minister Işık expressed his appreciation for the call and assured the secretary that Turkey remains a determined and committed partner and ally in the fight against ISIL [DAESH] and terrorism of all kinds," U.S. Defense Department press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.
Işık told Carter that his plans to attend a counter-DAESH defense ministerial meeting Wednesday in Washington were disrupted by the attempted coup but that he would send an official from the Turkish Embassy in Washington in his place, according to Cook.
The two defense chiefs also discussed the situation at İncirlik Air Base, which is used by the U.S. to launch airstrikes against DAESH, Cook said. The spokesman did not respond to questions on Monday about why Carter delayed calling Işık.