Ankara, September 27, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sept. 27 visited the Turkish parliament, which was bombed during the failed military coup of July 15.
Blinken was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass and Cemalettin Tuney, the head of the foreign affairs commission at Turkey’s parliament.
Following his visit to damaged parts of the parliament building, Blinken told journalists he was “deeply touched.”
“It is great and moving to be here. [This is] the place where the Turkish people, through their representatives, stood up for democracy and against the coup,” he said.
“It is personally moving to me because I worked at our own congress for six years. To see a house where the people’s representatives meet become a victim of this kind of attack speaks very clearly and powerfully. I want to start my day by paying respect to those who stood up [for] Turkish democracy and stood against the coup,” Blinken added.
He was scheduled to hold a series of meetings with Turkish officials on cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other bilateral and strategic issues.
During his visit, Blinken is being accompanied by U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, and the U.S. deputy assistant secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Jonathan Cohen.
He is expected to leave Turkey on Sept. 28.