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POLITICS > Ahmadinejad to visit Turkey amid tension

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This 2011 file photo shows Iran’s Ahmadinejad during a press conference in Istanbul.
The Iranian leader will visit Turkey with a focus on the Syrian crisis. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

This 2011 file photo shows Iran’s Ahmadinejad during a press conference in Istanbul. The Iranian leader will visit Turkey with a focus on the Syrian crisis. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Hüseyin Hayatsever Hüseyin Hayatsever huseyin.hayatsever@hdn.com.tr

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit Turkey on Dec. 17 upon an invitation from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but the visit comes increased tension due to the two countries’ differences over Syria, as well as difficulties stemming from sanctions against Tehran.

Erdoğan and Ahmadinejad, who will speak on the sidelines of a ceremony in the Central Anatolian province of Konya marking the 739th anniversary of the passing of the great Sufi mystic Rumi, are expected to discuss a wide range of issues, including Syria and Turkey’s decision to further cut the oil it purchases from Iran as part of Washington’s sanctions. But Turkey has said it will not give up its much-publicized “gold-for-gas” trade with Iran despite the new sanctions package imposed by the U.S.
The two countries disagree over the crisis in Syria, with Iran one of President Bashar al-Assad’s closest supporters; some Iranian officials have also harshly criticized Turkey for siding with Western countries to topple Syria’s government.

Erdoğan openly condemned the Iranian government after a senior Iranian official threatened Turkey last month, and Turkish officials have also begun to examine potential Iranian links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), whose militancy has risen in 2012.

Along with Erdoğan and Ahmadinejad, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, as well as ministers and parliamentarians will also attend the ceremonies.

The “Şeb-i Arus” ceremony is the last in a series of events which began Dec. 7 in Konya to honor the 13th-century poet, mystic and master of the Mevlevi Sufi order, Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi.

The Iranian president arrives the afternoon of Dec. 17 and will spend the night in Turkey after attending the Şeb-i Arus ceremony.

Erdoğan last met with Ahmadinejad in Islamabad during the eighth summit of the “Developing 8” (D-8) countries on Nov. 22.

December/15/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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Ayazid

12/16/2012 8:09:24 PM

@ mara mcglothin, you could say the same things about your presidents who regularly come to Riyad to dance with and bow to the supreme guardian of human rights, secularism an democracy in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia with its Wahhabi ideology has a much more poisonous influence over the world than Iran. However, your country is their chief ally and protector. Perhaps you people should do something with that first before you attack Erdogan for hosting Ahmadinejad. To seem a bit less hypocritical.

Nikos T.

12/16/2012 12:17:33 PM

Erdogan has no friends. Assad was also a friend. He may seem interdependent but eventually he will do what ever NATO will order him to do. He is part of a game he doesn't even know how it ends.

Ken Alden

12/16/2012 3:14:11 AM

@@@Tara McGlothin, it pains me to see that you have this "Fixation of Hatred' agains Turkish Politicians, i.e., if they were to offetheir Hearths to you on a silver platter, you soulx omplzin, because you would say" Why is' is it not on Gold Plater!As for Dogs, the Man's best friend, they get to know each other by smellingeach other! The humans get to know each other by talking to each other, in order to prevent Conflicts

mara mcglothin

12/15/2012 7:13:00 PM

If you sleep with dogs, you will eventually get fleas! When you hang out with crazies you will eventually be seen as crazy yourself. and on and on. Perhaps the esteemed PM can get some help erradicating the homosexuals from Turkish society like they have done in Iran. How nice that they can all attend a religious ceremony together.

Red Tail

12/15/2012 4:45:34 PM

Representatives of Iran or Hamas should not be allowed to come here.

Vargen Vargen

12/15/2012 10:25:47 AM

Seems like Turkey has better relationships with Iran and Hamas than with Israel or France or Germany or Greece.

MR Somalia

12/15/2012 9:52:19 AM

Erdogan is the winner and has the overwhelming support in the Muslim world. In Somalia, he changed the political landscape forever... Iran is also contributing positively to Somalia and we have nothing against Shia followers. Myself, I am direct descendant of the prophet (SAW). I'm from family tree called Isaaq ibn Ahmad al Hashimi, 46 generations ago I and the King of KSA shared same father al hassan al muthanna and we are known as Alids, we are in Somalia, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco and Granada.

Faruk Beisser

12/15/2012 9:32:14 AM

Don't worry, folks, it is just a spat between brothers, totally normal. These minor disagrements will not hinder the Great Leader in turning Turkey into another Iran!
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