By Dildar Baykan, Arife Yıldız Unal, Diyar Guldogan
The United Kingdom regards Turkey as an "indispensable partner with a long historic friendship," Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said Thursday.
"We value that friendship enormously," Grayling said at a news conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Arslan in Turkish capital Ankara.
The British secretary said Turkey had faced "most serious and difficult" challenges.
"We see it as our job to work with you to help you, support you to have a really strong security partnership in meeting the challenges that we both face," he added.
Grayling said a strategic security partnership was established during U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to Ankara last January.
He also praised the "tremendous resilience" shown by the Turkish people during and after the defeated coup attempt on July 15, 2016, calling the bid a "shocking threat" to democracy in Turkey.
"I just want to reiterate that the U.K. stands very firmly alongside Turkey in the face of challenges," he said.
Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkish Transport Minister Arslan thanked Grayling for the U.K.'s support, saying: "We will then always stand by the U.K. in its fight against terrorism. We will continue to fight together."
Arslan said Turkey was aware of the importance of mutual cooperation for eliminating terrorism.
"We are always in cooperation with the U.K. in this regard," he added.
*Diyar Guldogan from Ankara contributed to this story.
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