From Feb. 29 to March 3, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was in Turkey to further our cooperation and collaboration with his counterparts. Working with governments around the world, like the government of Turkey, allows us to keep our homeland safer and more secure.
For the trip, Secretary Johnson was joined by U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass as well as senior leadership from across the Department.
Secretary Johnson’s first stop in Turkey was Adana, located approximately 90 miles from the border with Syria. In Adana, the Secretary visited the Saricam Refugee Camp, a Turkish-government run Syrian refugee camp that houses more than 10,000 refugees. While at the Saricam camp, Secretary Johnson spoke to a number of Syrian and Iraqi refugee children and families.
In Istanbul, Secretary Johnson met with the Governor of Istanbul Vasip Sahin, to discuss ways to deepen our bilateral collaboration.
While in Istanbul, Secretary Johnson and the official delegation had the opportunity to partake in the longstanding Turkish culture and tradition, taking moments throughout the trip to admire the rich history and national treasures.
On Thursday, Secretary Johnson traveled to Ankara. He had the privilege of participating in a ceremonial wreath laying at the tomb of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of Turkey.
The Secretary met with Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkci to sign a Letter of Intent aimed at advancing border security and promoting information sharing in the pursuit of enhanced customs enforcement.
In addition to Minister Tüfenkci, Secretary Johnson also met with the Turkish Minister of Interior Efkan Ala with whom he signed a Letter of Intent to advance security cooperation between U.S. and Turkish law enforcement agencies.
DHS seeks to deepen its partnerships with Turkey to enhance aviation and border security, combat terrorism, and bolster customs enforcement through international collaboration and the sharing of best practices.