Erdogan attends lunch given in his honor by Kerry and Biden
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden gave a lunch in honor of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the State Department in Washington on Thursday. Speaking at the lunch, Kerry said that in his first 100 days as secretary of state, he has visited no country more than Turkey. "And I have been there three times already. And to put that in perspective, I have been home only twice," Kerry said. Stating that the visit of Erdogan was really a great celebration of the firm U.S.-Turkish friendship, Kerry said, "And we affirm today that it is stronger than those who try to intimidate us with violence, it is tougher than the tests we face together in all corners of the globe, and our arms reach out wider than the waters that separate us As the proverb says, ‘Dag daga kavusmaz, insan insana kavusur,' meaning, mountains do not come together, but people do. And it's up to us to make it so." For his part, Biden said, "I'd like to say to all our Turkish and American guests here today that you all may think you understand something about hospitality, but the last time I visited Istanbul, the prime minister had just returned home from the hospital. And he was kind enough to invite me to his home. He surrounded me with his beautiful children and grandchildren. And we spoke candidly for hours. And so I say to my American friends, you cannot understand the true meaning of hospitality until you've been welcomed by a Turkish family into their home." Erdogan said the countries had had a 170-year-long friendship, praising his interlocutors, especially Kerry's, several trips to Turkey in the last months. "Their youth increase our dynamism," Erdogan said.