U.S. Ambassador John Bass
Remarks During an Independence Day Celebration
U.S. Ambassador’s Residence
July 7, 2017
Sayın Bakan, Sayın Komutanlar, Değerli Konuklar, Hanımefendiler, Beyefendiler, hoşgeldiniz.
Thank you all very much for joining us this evening to celebrate the 241st anniversary of our independence. Marines – present the colors.
[National anthems are played, and the colors presented]
Sayın Bakan, Sayın Komutanlar, Değeli Konuklar, tekrar hoşgeldiniz. It is our great pleasure and privilege to welcome you to this reception to celebrate the 241st anniversary of our independence.
Let me first express our deep appreciation to our sponsors for supporting this event. Each of them, in addition to their support this evening, continues to help strengthen our relationship in many different ways, and in the individual ways they strengthen that relationship, in their own ways they show that we are always stronger when we work together.
Maalesef, it has been another difficult, painful year since Holly Hanim and I hosted you at this event last year. Our societies, Turkey, the United States, and those of many of our friends here this evening, have suffered pain and loss at the hands of terrorists. Turkey’s citizens, almost one year ago, defended democracy against the illegal coup attempt – at great cost. We again extend our deep condolences to everyone in this society who has suffered loss this year as a result of violence. Başınız sağolsun.
The past year’s events have shown us again that the only answer to terrorism and violence is justice and the rule of law. And we continue to support the Turkish government’s efforts to bring those responsible for the terrible events on 15 Temmuz to justice.
Our own painful experiences in the United States in dealing with terrorism have taught us, through mistakes that we have made, that a rush to justice – or an overly broad definition of terrorism – can be dangerous themselves. They can erode fundamental freedoms; they can undermine confidence in government; they can confuse justice with vengeance. Mevlana’s teaching that “grief can be the garden of compassion” can help us all remember that important line between justice and vengeance.
And it is our hope that, as we continue to work together to deal with the scourge of terrorism that we face together, that our friends here in Turkey can avoid some of the mistakes that we have made.
Now, as everyone here knows and reads every day, much of the news of late has been focused on differences between our two governments and our societies. But I look around this audience, this lawn this evening, and I see many, many examples of our partnership – of the ways in which together we’re teaching the next generation, we’re building businesses, we’re innovating. And that gives me great confidence that, even while we contend with these differences, we will work through them, and emerge from them, in as close a partnership as we have ever had, just as we have in the past.
In seeking justice, in creating opportunities for all of our citizens, the United States will continue to support our friends and allies here in Turkey. And we look forward to working with all of you in the months and years ahead. Birlikte çalışmayı iple çekiyoruz.
Tekrar, hoşgeldiniz ve çok teşekkür ederiz.