Obama calls Turkey a ‘strong NATO ally’

President Obama said in an interview Sunday that Turkey remains a strong U.S. partner, despite recent upheaval in Ankara.


“We haven’t seen a diminishing effect on our security relations,” Obama said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

“Turkey continues to be a strong NATO ally,” he said.

“They are working with us to defeat ISIL and are an important partner on a whole range of security issues in the region,” he said, using the administration’s preferred acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Obama said Turkey has gone through a “political and civil earthquake” and now has to rebuild.

“And how they rebuild is going to be important,” he said.

“And what we want to do is indicate to them the degree to which we support the Turkish people. But like any good friend, we want to give them honest feedback if we think the steps they’re taking are going to be contrary to their long-term interests or our partnership.”