The Iran Project

Erdogan’s Tehran visit implies big change in Turkey’s regional policy: Analyst

Tasnim – Turkish President’s recent visit to Iran showed big changes in Ankara foreign policy in the region, a political Turkish analyst said.

Malik Kaya, a Turkish expert told Tasnim that Recep Tayyib Erdogan has paid official visits to Iran for five times since his party’s control over Turkey, and he had two visits to Iran as president.

Previous meetings were normal meetings between the two neighboring countries’ officials but the recent trip was of much importance given the developments in the region, he said.

The analyst pointed to the changes in Ankara policies in the region, and said, “Erdogan’s visit showed a big change in Turkey’s foreign policy and Ankara’s stance is now close to Iran’s policies in the region.”

As regards the reasons behind Turkey’s stance, Kaya pointed to Iraqi Kurdish semi-autonomous region referendum for independence on September 25 and the US support for Kurds in Syria and noted that “Ankara is very much concerned about the impacts of these developments on its borders.”

Turkey has sizable Kurdish population and is afraid that developments in the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Syria may emboldens the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (known also as PKK) terrorist organization, Kaya added.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Erdogan arrived in Tehran on last Wednesday morning to attend the fourth round of strategic meetings with Iranian officials to discuss the latest regional developments and the status of bilateral ties.

He also met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

In a joint statement after the tight meetings on Wednesday, the Iranian and Turkish presidents highlighted the significance that their governments attach to close cooperation and strong economic ties.

In their joint statement, the two presidents emphasized the fact that it would be in the interest of both countries to maximize the use of the existing cooperation mechanism against the illegal activities of PKK and PJAK elements along the common borders and to take common steps for a fruitful fight against terrorism and organized crime.

They rejected the illegal and illegitimate referendum held by the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by renewing respect for the constitution, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, annulling the result of this move and supporting the steps taken by the Iraqi government to maintain territorial integrity and political integrity of the country.

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