Russia should halt PYD activities in Moscow: Erdogan

Turkish president's remarks come ahead of high-level bilateral meeting in Moscow

Russia should halt PYD activities in Moscow: Erdogan

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Turkey expects Russia to end the activities in Moscow of the PYD, the terrorist PKK's Syrian affiliate, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

"It bears great importance that we [Turkey and Russia] act in close coordination in fighting terrorism," Erdogan told reporters ahead of the sixth High-Level Cooperation Council meeting between Ankara and Moscow.

Erdogan urged a "determined" attitude against ISIL and all other terrorist organizations operating in Syria.

"In this respect, we especially expect [Russia] to end the activities of the PYD, the PKK's Syria wing, in Moscow," he added. 

Erdogan added that during a one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, they discussed Syria and the fight against terrorism. 

"An important task falls on us to immediately ensure stability in Syria and halt the bloodshed," said Erdogan.

- Normalization process 'over' 

Erdogan said the normalization process between Ankara and Moscow, which started late last summer, was over.

"If you also deem suitable, let's stop using the term 'normalization' in official statements from now on," he added. 

He reiterated Turkey's desire to increase mutual trade volume up to $100 billion.

Erdogan also noted the importance of "reviving" the visa exemption agreement.

Turkey knows that Russia has been working on "some formulas" with regards to Turkish businessmen, transporters, cabin crews and diplomatic passport holders, he said. "Our desire is the provision of all exemptions as soon as possible." 

Putin said the two countries had “great potential” for improving “good neighborly" relations.

"The two countries can not only make up for any lost opportunities, but they can also move relations to a new level," he said. 

Putin said he hoped Russia and Turkey could overcome the problems in trade in 2017. 

He said cooperation between the two countries should be developed in innovation, science and technology.

The president also said using local currencies would contribute to the improvement of trade between Moscow and Ankara.

 "We know Dear President [Erdogan] also supports this. The setting up of the infrastructure of the Russian payment system, Mir, in Turkey would be a concrete step."

Erdogan said the process would be "accelerated" when Russians pay with Mir.

- Energy issues

Erdogan said Turkey welcomed the ratification of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project. 

"We expect the pipeline to be completed at the targeted time," he added.

The TurkStream natural gas pipeline project agreement between Turkey and Russia was signed on Oct. 10, 2016 and ratified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 7. 

The project, which was announced by Putin during a 2014 visit to Turkey, is set to carry gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkey's Thrace region. One line, with 15.75 billion cubic meters of capacity, is expected to supply the Turkish market, while the second line will carry gas to Europe.

 The first line of the project is planned to become operational by December 2019.

 About Turkey’s first nuclear power plant Akkuyu in the southern province of Mersin, Erdogan said it was of "key importance" for Turkey for the plant to become operational on time. 

The agreement for the nuclear plant in Mersin province, which is to have 4,800 megawatts of capacity, was signed in 2010 and it should be operational by 2023.

Turkey plans to make its first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, operational in 2023, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said on Feb. 3.

- Turkey-Russia Year of Tourism 2019  

The two leaders announced 2019 had been declared Turkey-Russia Year of Tourism and Culture.

Erdogan said he believed the events to be organized in this regard would enable both societies to get to know each other "closely". 

The last meeting between Erdogan and Putin was held in August after Turkey and Russia patched up the fallout from the downing of a Russian jet over the Turkish-Syrian border.

Since the summer, Russia has relaxed the sanctions imposed on Turkey in response to the jet incident and the countries have worked together to bring a cease-fire and political solution to Syria.

Relations were tested in December when the Russian ambassador in Ankara, Andrey Karlov, was killed in the capital. However, Putin declared the shooting a “provocation” designed to undermine Turkey-Russia relations.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Mart 2017, 20:07