The White House
Office of the Press Secretary – December 15, 2016
The President spoke by phone today with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to express his condolences for those killed and wounded in last weekend’s terrorist attacks in Istanbul carried out by a wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and for Turkish soldiers killed in Syria in the fight against ISIL. The two leaders agreed to stand resolute in the fight against terrorism. President Obama thanked President Erdogan for Turkey’s efforts to broker a ceasefire in Aleppo to allow for the safe evacuation of fighters and civilians wishing to depart the city under the supervision of international humanitarian organizations. Presidents Obama and Erdogan agreed on the need for a nationwide cessation of hostilities and a political solution to the conflict. President Obama and President Erdogan reviewed the progress of the Coalition’s campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and stressed the importance of continued close coordination between the United States and Turkey to build on these successes. Finally, the leaders noted the warm and productive relationship they have enjoyed over the last eight years, and their shared desire for continued strong relations between the United States and Turkey.