Ankara, August 9, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan meet for first time since ties deteriorated last November
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the country is against “all kinds” of coup attempts during his first meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the downing of a Russian warplane last November.
In remarks made to the media at the Constantine Palace in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, Putin said: “We are against all kinds of coup attempts.”
“I would like to remind you of our principal attitude. We are against all attempts that are against the constitution. I hope under your management the Turkish people will overcome this problem,” Putin said, referring to the July 15 coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in Turkey.
The Russian president also said despite the tumultuous times of Turkey’s internal politics, Erdogan’s visit was “a sign of normalizing ties”.
“The restoration of bilateral ties would benefit both Turkey and Russia,” Putin said.
Erdogan agreed with Putin and said Turkish-Russian solidarity would also help in resolving regional issues.
“Our region has political expectations of Turkey and Russia,” Erdogan said. “Turkey-Russia ties have entered into a very different and positive phase,” Erdogan said.
The Turkish president also said he appreciated his Russian counterpart’s support following the defeated July 15 coup.
“Your call after the coup attempt made us happy,” he told Putin.
The two leaders are expected to discuss the way forward in reinforcing bilateral relations during their meeting, as well as exchanging views on regional and international developments.
After the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian jet for an airspace violation over the Turkey-Syria border, relations between the two countries soured. The issue seemed largely resolved on June 29 through a letter and subsequent telephone calls between the countries’ leaders.
On June 30, Russia lifted a ban on tourist flights to Turkey following a phone conversation between Putin and Erdogan.
Turkish and Russian foreign ministers later met in the Russian city of Sochi on July 1.
Putin gave his support to Turkey over the July 15 coup attempt and said he stood by the elected government, offering his condolences to the victims of what Erdogan called the “most heinous” armed coup attempt in modern Turkish history.
On July 22, Russia also lifted restrictions on flights to Turkey, which had been implemented temporarily following the coup attempt, after Turkish officials assured their Russian counterparts that additional security measures were being taken.