U.S. Embassy Ankara
July 12, 2023
U.S. Ambassador to Türkiye Jeffry L. Flake underscored U.S.-Türkiye cooperation during a two-day visit to İzmir July 10-11. Ambassador Flake co-hosted a reception to commemorate the 247th Independence Day of the United States and visited İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, as well as a U.S.-based renewable energy company and a cultural heritage site in İzmir.
Ambassador Flake and Mrs. Cheryl Flake co-hosted an Independence Day celebration at the Aegean Free Zone (ESBAŞ) together with ESBAŞ Chairperson Emeritus Mrs. Mary Tuncer on July 11. İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, U.S. representatives, and members of the business community and civil society also attended the reception in the garden of Space Camp Türkiye.
In his speech delivered at the opening of the reception, Ambassador Flake stressed the partnership between the United States and Türkiye and announced that “just this week, Türkiye ensured that NATO will be stronger than ever, by adding Sweden to its ranks. I’m pleased to report that our two Presidents met and spoke again about strengthening our ties to each other.” He added, in addition to security cooperation, “total trade between our two countries now exceeds $34 billion a year. People-to-people contact is increasing in a big way. Later this year, in partnership with the United States’ Axiom Space, the first Turkish astronaut is expected to travel to the International Space Station. So, it is not true anymore to say, ’the sky is the limit.’ Our cooperation and partnership has quite literally taken us beyond the sky – into space.”
As part of his visit to İzmir, Ambassador Flake also visited İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer at the mayor’s office. During the meeting, Ambassador Flake and Mayor Soyer discussed possibilities for enhanced cooperation.
Ambassador Flake, Mrs. Flake, and U.S. Embassy representatives also visited the Arizona-based TPI Composite production facility located in Menemen, İzmir. TPI is a leading wind-blade manufacturer and the only independent wind blade manufacturer with a global footprint. Ambassador Flake toured the production site and met senior TPI executives. After the visit, Ambassador Flake emphasized the importance of this U.S. investment which creates more than 4,000 jobs throughout Türkiye and provides significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, helping to mitigate climate change.
Earlier during Ambassador Flake’s visit, he and Mrs. Flake toured the historic Etz-Hayim Synagogue, which is now a cultural center in the heart of İzmir, to demonstrate U.S. support for the preservation of Türkiye’s rich cultural heritage. With initial help in 2011 from the United States Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, preservation experts in Türkiye stabilized and restored the historic Etz-Hayim synagogue. This restoration project spurred additional efforts to attract visitors who are interested in learning more about Türkiye’s deep history and culture.