For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
ANKARA, Turkey – Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson concluded a three-day trip to Turkey, where he visited a refugee camp, reviewed resettlement processing, spoke to a number of Syrian and Iraqi refugee families, met with government officials in Istanbul and Ankara to discuss a range of homeland security-related issues, and signed two bilateral accords to codify mutual commitment to deepen collaboration.
On Tuesday, Secretary Johnson visited a Turkish-government run Syrian refugee camp in Adana, Turkey, about 90 miles from the Syrian border. There, Secretary Johnson met and spoke with Syrian refugee children and their families, many of whom had been residing in the camp for the past two years.
While in Istanbul, Secretary Johnson viewed refugee resettlement operations at the Resettlement Support Center in Istanbul. At the center, he met with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ employees engaged in the comprehensive vetting and assessment of Syrian and other refugee applicants and thanked them for their service. Secretary Johnson also met with the Governor of Istanbul, Vasip Sahin, and members of the Turkish National Police to discuss joint efforts to address shared security threats and promote information sharing between U.S. and Turkish law enforcement agencies.
Secretary Johnson today met with Minister of Interior Efkan Ala and Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkci to sign Letters of Intent to advance bilateral security cooperation while facilitating trade and travel. Through these accords, DHS will deepen its partnerships with Turkey to enhance aviation and border security, to combat terrorism, and to bolster customs enforcement through increased consultations, joint collaboration, and exchange of best practices. Secretary Johnson also participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of Turkey.
Secretary Johnson was joined on the trip by León Rodríguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Brig. Gen. Francis X. Taylor, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis; Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Office of Policy; and Kevin McAleenan, Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Secretary Johnson visits a Turkish-government run Syrian refugee camp in Adana, Turkey (DHS Photo/Barry Bahler)
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