Monday, February 14, 2011

Turkey-Iran: Two Countries with Very Steady Relations

Holding a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, President Gül proclaimed Turkey and Iran to be two neighbors with the borders that have not been changed since 1639, adding: “It is hard to find any other two countries sharing borders as old as these and enjoying such steady relations throughout the world.”

President Abdullah Gül, paying an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran, was welcomed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with an official ceremony in Tehran. Afterwards, the two leaders, having a tete-a-tete, chaired the delegational talks and they later held a joint press conference.


Remembering that Turkey and Iran have been sharing the same border since 1639, President Gül stated: “It is hard to find any other two countries sharing borders as old as these and enjoying such steady relations throughout the world.” He then referred to the exhibition entitled “Ten Thousand Years of Iranian Civilization, Two Thousand Years of Common Heritage” displayed at Topkapı Palace Museum as part of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture programs as the best demonstration of the common culture and history shared by the two countries. He also underscored the very importance they attach to developing the bilateral relations between Turkey and Iran, informing the press that they have discussed both bilateral and regional issues including Iran’s nuclear program.


In the whole of the region, particularly in the Middle East and the Islamic World, the President argued, significant changes are being experienced and he further commented on this: “These events should not surprise anyone as a matter of fact. In this very epoch in which communication enables people to be aware of everything, the very demands of people are for real. I shared my thoughts regarding this issue during my speech at the Islamic Conference Meeting held in Tehran back in 2003: ‘Every single country must put their own houses in order. We must pay heed to the demands of our people. In this regard, both political and economic reforms ought to be implemented.’ Sometimes, it is the public that urges what leaders do not, which is in fact what we are witnessing in the region these days. When leaders do not pioneer such reforms, people do. We hope that this country and its people will come through this process honorable, stronger and happier and that this process will not last long.”


As for Ahmadinejad, he shared his happiness to welcome President Gül to his country and drew attention to the bilateral relations recently developing remarkably in all areas between Turkey and Iran, declaring that the trade volume, which is currently is over 10 billion dollars, should be 30 billion dollars with the energy investments excluded.

President Ahmadinejad further extended his thanks to President Gül, saying: “We would like to offer our thanks to you for Turkey’s mediative role and efforts regarding Iran’s nuclear program. We are especially grateful for the Istanbul meeting, which is a great achievement on its own.” President Ahmadinejad also noted as follows: “There is no hindrance for us as a principle to carry our relations further. We have determined the very obstacles encountered in practice. We both will make efforts to eliminate these barriers.”

President Gül, after attending a luncheon given by the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran, Ümit Yardım, received Iran’s First Vice President, Mohammad Reza Rahimi. 

(Presidency of the Republic of Turkey)