Turkish official on two-day “mission” in Iowa

The Consul General from the Turkish Embassy in Chicago says he is “on a mission” to strengthen relationships between Turkey and the United States. Consul General Fatih Yildiz visited Iowa City Monday and he’s at the state capitol in Des Moines today.

“What we are basically going now is reaching out more, deep into America…and increase the synergy between our great nations,” Yildiz said during remarks in the Iowa House this morning.

The consul general said he hopes to “enlarge” the profile of the relationship between Turkey and the U.S.

“Yes, we are great allies and we have been together with each other starting with the Korean War and now our soldiers are together with your G.I.s in Afghanistan, fighting together against, countering terrorism,” Yildiz said in the Senate. “So we have always been there, together, for each other.”

But Yildiz said in a “much more globalized world” Turkey and the United States can expand beyond shared national security interests and build new links between the “civil societies” in each country.

“I am confident that we are looking into a brighter future for all,” Yildiz said.

Yildiz has been the head of the Turkish Consulate in Chicago since 2010. Yildiz is hosting a reception over the noon-hour in the statehouse to meet personally with Iowa officials.