World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey’s Ambassador to Ukraine Yonet C. Tezel has said despite some changes in Turkey after the failed coup, the visit to Russia by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the continuation of mending fractioned relations after the downing of the jet last year.
No change in course
Tezel said that, contrary to widespread speculation, Erdogan’s visit to see Russian President Vladimir Putin on Aug. 9 did not signify that Turkey’s foreign policy “is changing course” by making an abrupt pro-Moscow shift.
He said Erdogan’s aim was simply to resume dialogue that was broken after Turkey on Nov. 24 shot down a Russian warplane that strayed into Turkish airspace from Syria, where Moscow is propping up the regime of Bashar al-Assad, despite repeated warnings. Russia slapped on trade and travel sanctions against Turkey in retaliation, sending bilateral relations into a deep freeze.
The lack of contact helped no one, Tezel said. Since the thaw, Russian tourism has resumed to Turkey -- accounting for three million visitors annually -- and other trade ties appear set to return to a more normal footing.
“During the seven months that Turkey had this very problematic time with Russia, we were not anymore on speaking terms,” Tezel said. “And during these seven months, Turkey became the only NATO ally not to be speaking with Russia. That was an abnormality. It was wasn’t good for regional events or international issues.”
The Crimean Issue
In an interview with the Kiev Post, Tezel said that Turkey's position on the annexation is unchanged.
“Turkey will not recognize Crimea (as part of Russia). Of course not,” Tezel said. “Conditions have not changed, so Turkish policy will not change. If you want to know about Turkish policy, look at the NATO documents.”
“Turkey’s position and the position of NATO and allies and others is: We stand firm against Russian actions which are not in line with international law, not in line with peace and stability, but at the same time keep a dialogue,” Tezel said. “We still have diffferencs over Ukraine, Crimea and Syria and other regional issues.”
As for Turkey’s policy towards Ukraine, the ambassador said that nothing has changed and nothing will change because “it is in Turkey’s interest that Ukraine is independent, sovereign, that Ukraine is united and that its territorial integrity is preserved.”
Source: Kiev Post
Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2016, 10:58