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Iran-Turkey ties not ‘abnormal’ despite Tehran’s travel warning – Parl’t Speaker

Sputnik– The Iranian government’s recommendations that its citizens should avoid traveling to Turkey, which followed the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov in Ankara, do not mean that the relations between Tehran and Istanbul are “abnormal,” Speaker of Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani said Monday.

 

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Larijani also called on the Turkish government to avoid expressing any unneighborly attitudes, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech during visit to Bahrain, when he accused Tehran of seeking defragmentation of both Syria and Iraq.

“The [recommendation that Iranians] avoid traveling to Turkey does not mean abnormal ties. We have to take such measures to protect the lives of our citizens … Turkey is a friend of ours, and we have high-level trade ties with that country,” Larijani said at a press conference in Tehran, as quoted by the Tasnim news agency.

The relations between Turkey and Iran are based on the principle of non-interference in internal affairs. Since the start of the Syrian war, the countries took opposite sides, with Turkey supporting the Syrian opposition, while Iran backs the government of President Bashar Assad.

Karlov was shot dead on December 19 by Turkish off-duty police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas at the opening of an art gallery exhibition. The Iranian Foreign Ministry urged citizens to avoid traveling to Turkey following the incident.