According to Reuters Tillerson’s comments came a day after he met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for talks on regional security issues, including U.S. backing for Kurdish Syrian YPG forces fighting to drive Islamic State from their Raqqa stronghold.
"I think we're beginning to rebuild some of that trust that we lost in one another. They lost our trust to a certain extent, we lost theirs," Tillerson, in Istanbul for an international petroleum conference, told U.S. consulate staff members.
Ankara was infuriated last month when Washington announced that it would continue the Obama administration’s policy of arming the YPG, although U.S. officials insist that the United States will retrieve the weapons once Islamic State is defeated.
The U.S. relationship with Turkey is "extraordinarily important from a security standpoint to the future economic opportunities," he said, noting the country’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East.
"(This) is why we must put the relationship on the mend... and I think we're taking the first steps in that regard."
“We're making some progress down in Syria. We're hopeful that we can replicate that with Turkey, on some areas in the north part of Syria.
Reporter’s code: 50101