ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)—Turkish officials have been working on changing the date of a working visit of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the United States, since the proposed date coincides with the 86th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, the Turkish Today’s Zaman reported on Thursday.
Erdogan announced last week that he had received an invitation from US President Barack Obama for a working visit to Washington on October 29. At the time, he said the final decision would be made after a review of alternative dates.
“We mentioned that we wouldn’t prefer the [October] 29, if possible,” Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the exact date of his visit. When asked if he would consider visiting Washington on Oct. 29 if no alternative date is available, he said, “Then, I may, of course, go.”
Some members of the opposition parties as well as some columnists have criticized the scheduling of Erdogan’s visit to the US capital on the 86th anniversary of the Turkish Republic–which was established on October 29, 1923, suggesting it was not appropriate for the prime minister to be at the White House on that particular date.
Meanwhile, government officials told the Cihan news agency that Erdogan would be visiting Pakistan on October 24-25 and then Iran on October 26-27.