More than 100 supporters welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he arrived at President Donald Trump’s guest house. As he pulled into Blair House, the crowd chanted Erdogan’s name and “red and white” — the colors of the Turkish flag.
“Here today, we are beyond party lines,” said Gunay Ovunc, a second generation Turkish-American who co-chairs the Turkish-American National Steering Committee. “We have transcended those divisions.” Ozlem Timucin, a provincial vice president of the ruling AK Party, felt she needed to be present for Erdogan’s arrival said it was “an honor” to witness it.
Following Erdogan’s arrival, Turkey’s Washington envoy thanked supporterx, some of whom he said traveled to Washington, D.C. from as far away as California on the west coast. “This unity and solidarity, especially in these days is very important,” Serdar Kilic said. “Especially after the July 15 heinous coup attempt, your presence here, holding and waving Turkish flags while our president arrives — it is vital,” he added. “Our honorable president also salutes all of you guys.” Erdogan will meet Trump at the White House on Tuesday for a bilateral Oval Office meeting followed by a press conference. A meeting with Turkish-American business and religious leaders at the Turkish ambassador’s residence in northwest Washington, D.C. is also scheduled.—Agencies