President Barack Obama is speaking out against the military coup that is now seeking to overthrow Turkey’s elected Islamist government.
According to a 7.00 pm statement from the White House,
The President spoke tonight by phone with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the events in Turkey. The President and Secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected Government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed. The Secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of U.S. citizens in Turkey. The President asked the Secretary to continue to keep him updated as the situation unfolds.
Obama entered power in 2009 hoping to use Turkey’s Islamist president to help remake politics in the Middle East — but the wished-for alliance crashed as Erdogan’s Islamist government became more radical year by year.
Obama met with Erdogan multiple times during his first four-year term.
In January, 2012, Obama said Erdogan is one of his top allies. “I think that if you ask them, [Germany’s] Angela Merkel or [Indian] Prime Minister Singh or [Korea’s] President Lee or [Turkey’s] Prime Minister Erdogan or [U.K.] David Cameron would say ‘We have a lot of trust and confidence in the President … We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests,’” he told Newsweek interviewer Fareed Zakaria.
In March 2012, at a meeting in South Korea, Obama declared about Erdogan “that we find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues… [and] because he has two daughters that are a little older than mine — they’ve turned out very well, so I’m always interested in his perspective on raising girls.”
Erdogan has pushed step-by-step create an Islamic state. That Islamic push is being resisted by secular, educated Turks, mostly in the major cities.
Erdogan has also tried to revive the defunct Ottoman Empire by building a new presidential palace and surrounding himself with guards dressed as the soldiers of the Ottoman empire, which collapsed in 1920. That push has been strongly resisted by neighboring Arab countries, and largely ignored by European governments.