Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Prime Minister Inonu of Turkey

June 22, 1964

Mr. Prime Minister:

It is a pleasure to meet with you again and to welcome you once more to our United States. The American people remember with deep appreciation your visit here last year in our national hour of sorrow upon the death of our beloved late President, John F. Kennedy.

For myself, I shall never forget my own visit to your country 2 years ago and the great outpouring of friendship for America which your people demonstrated so generously in your cities and your countryside.

From that visit I remember especially the conversations we were privileged to have together, Mr. Prime Minister. I was inspired by both your vision and your determination to lead Turkey toward the fulfillment of the dreams of the great Ataturk, at whose side you once worked.

The history of your land is ancient; the history of our land is young. Yet Turkey and the United States have much in common. We share alike a zeal to safeguard our independence, to uphold democratic values under the rule of law, and to seek after those solutions which will be peaceful and permanent. We are not only good friends but we are close allies. We have marched together in arms. We stand together as partners in NATO. We work together as associates in CENTO.

We welcome you, Mr. Prime Minister, as a leader of a nation united with us in a determination to preserve world peace and, through collective security, to stand steadfast against the threat of communist aggression.

Above all, Mr. Prime Minister, we welcome you as a friend who comes representing a strong and stalwart people for whom the American people have only the warmest feelings of friendship and respect. I am confident that in our discussions this friendly spirit will prevail, as we work together toward the solutions of problems which trouble us all.

Note: The President spoke in midmorning on the South Lawn at the White House where Prime Minister Ismet Inonu was given a formal welcome with full military honors. The Prime Minister responded as follows:

Mr. President:

On behalf of my wife and myself I wish to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this sincere and splendid welcome. I have no doubt that the people of Turkey look upon this visit as another occasion to cement the deep-rooted and lasting friendship between our two countries. Our two peoples have always been conscious of having common ideals and of having linked our destinies.

We in Turkey believe that friendship between countries is based not on transitory interests, but on a common faith in ultimate justice and unwavering principles.

Mr. President, friendships are proved in trying times. If my visit can help to bring better understanding of the problems and issues that now interest our part of the world my mission will be useful.

We believe in peace but we also know that peace cannot be lasting unless it is based on justice. For your great country we in Turkey have always borne the most sincere feelings of esteem, confidence, and good will.

For Mrs. Johnson and yourself, Mr. President, my wife and I have such deep personal regard that your gracious welcome is both touching and overwhelming. We are happy and honored to be the guests of a great President of the United States.

To you, Mr. President, to your gracious wife, and to those of the great American public who can hear me, on behalf of ourselves and the people of Turkey, I say, once again, thank you.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Prime Minister Inonu of Turkey Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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