Erdogan's Letter to Putin Means 'Ankara Ready to Open New Page' With Moscow
21:42 15.06.2016(updated 22:14 15.06.2016)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Russia's national holiday, sending him a letter in which he expressed hope for the improvement of ties between both countries. In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Turkish politicians from various parties commented on the issue.
Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated after a Turkish F-16 fighter downed a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria on November 24, 2015. Following the incident, Russia imposed restrictive measures against Turkey, including sanctions in trade, tourism and investments.
"I repeatedly said that we need to separate relations in the spheres of commerce and politics and that we need to appreciate and support the proximity which exists between our nations and economic cooperation," former Turkish Minister of Economy Mustafa Elitaş told Sputnik.
According to the politician, Erdogan's letter signifies Turkey's readiness to open new page in bilateral relations. He expressed his hope that the countries will be able to return to a strategic partnership they had before the incident.
"The Russian side has already made steps toward reconciliation and there was a meeting with the head of the Turkish foreign ministry. The crisis in the relations can be resolved through such bilateral steps that demonstrate the good will of the parties. I hope that our relations will improve. They must improve," the politician stated.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia wants to resume relations with Turkey but expects concrete steps from Ankara, including an apology and compensation for the downed Russian plane. According to the Russian President, Ankara's claims are not enough for the normalization of ties between the two countries.
"Normalization of Turkish-Russian relations is in the national interests of both countries, and crucial to ensuring stability in Syria, the Caucasus, the Black Sea region," deputy from the oppositional Republican People's Party Utku Çakırözer told Sputnik.
"Both countries are important geopolitical players. The conflict between them, on the one hand, leads to delays in the resolution of the Syrian crisis, on the other, negatively affects their own national interests," the politician stated.
Member of the Nationalist Movement Party MuharremVarlı also supported this point of view saying that Turkey should maintain good relations with its neighbors.
"These are countries which we can develop trade and maintain economic cooperation with, we need them as partners. So I hope that these letters will be well received by the Russian side and will activate diplomatic contacts between the two countries," the politician concluded.
Earlier, Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim also wrote a letter to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in which he expressed hope that, "in the near future, cooperation and relations between the two countries will reach a level that is essential for the common interests of our peoples."
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|