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January 31, 2023

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on an offcial visit to Bucharest: Romania, Turkey share similar interests, voice concern for regional and European stability and security

The president of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan  paid an official visit to Romania on Wednesday, during which he was welcomed by his counterpart, Klaus Iohannis and met Prime minister Victor Ponta.

President Erdogan’s visit to Romania has a major role from the point of view of bilateral relations. A president of Turkey visited Romania after a pause of seven years, giving an important signal for the interest of the two countries in stepping up political dialogue. However, the visit also presented a special economic dimension, with the inclusion on the agenda of the Turkish president who came accompanied by a large delegation of businessmen, of the Romanian-Turkish Business Forum.

At the same time, President Erdogan’s visit to Bucharest, part of a tour that included Slovakia and Slovenia, also posed a regional importance, highlighting Turkey’s interest in engaging in a constructive dialogue with these countries for identifying new ways of cooperation for keeping regional stability. All the so more important to Romania as, apart from Russia, the most important actor at the Black Sea is Turkey, a country which however is, like Romania, a NATO member. In his statement made at the airport, before departing to Ljubljana, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained that he and his counterparts in the three countries he would visit were going to discuss developments in the region, especially the terrain gained by the Islamic State organisation, but also the conflict in Ukraine. In addition, President Erdogan used his tour in the three countries to get reconfirmation of support for Turkey’s accession effort to the European Union.

‘The Turkish president is in an offensive of charm in South-Eastern Europe. Having received repeated criticism in Europe over democratic rights violations in Turkey and after accession negotiations with the EU have remained blocked for years, now three states are part of the mini-tour: Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania’, RFI stated on Wednesday.

Turkish President  and his wife were welcomed by President Klaus Iohannis and his wife Carmen Iohannis on the official plateau at the Cotroceni Palace, where, after the performance of the two national anthems, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saluted the Guard and Protocol Regiment.

The two heads of state had head-to-head and official conversations with the participation of the members of the delegations, after which they made  press statements.


Iohannis: Turkey’s participation in the NATO command structures on the Romanian territory would be of a special importance


President Klaus Iohannis said he has told his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the participation of Turkey in the NATO command and control structures on the Romanian territory would be of a special importance for our country.

Iohannis said he has had a thorough discussion with the Turkish president about the international geo-political evolutions, with an accent on the near vicinity, and that the stage of the implementation of the NATO Action Plan for the increase of the operational capacity’s growth was analysed.

“The collective defence’s consolidation within the NATO is a common target of Romania. I have told my counterpart that Turkey’s participation in the NATO command and control structures to be developed on Romania’s territory would be of a special importance for our country,” the head of state said at the Cotroceni Palace, after talks with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He highlighted that Romania and Turkey have joint goals and mutual interests, adding that the talks have focused on the current context and the way the relations between the two countries could be developed.

“The NATO membership, the cooperation in many fields, the economic one in particular, are connecting us,” Klaus Iohannis said.

The head of state mentioned that two of the main topics of dialogue were focusing the region’s security and the economic cooperation.

“Our joint opinion is that a safe and prosperous region is in the benefit of both states and citizens,” said Iohannis.

In his turn, the Turkish president specified his country will give the necessary support to the fathering of the NATO command centers in Romania.

“Our solidarity is manifesting on other levels, too such as the military one. We are together within the NATO, and our collaboration within the Alliance is based on the solidarity in-between which is to go further resolutely in the future, too. (…) We shall give the necessary support after the talks to be held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), at the National Defence Ministry (MApN), and out point of view is positive and we’ll transmit our answer as soon as possible,” Erdogan concluded.


Romania supports Turkey ‘s integration into the European Union


President Klaus Iohannis has also voiced Romania’s  support for Turkey’s integration into the European Union.

“Romania supports Turkey in its EU integration process. I believe that both the European union and Turkey would have but to win in all fields, from the economic development to the regional stability, following Turkey’s European integration,” said Klaus Iohannis in the joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan thanked Romania for the support given to Turkey’s EU integration.

“I guess that in the next period Romania’s support will be more determined in this process of EU integration of Turkey,” he said.


Erdogan: Democracy is a complex system that cannot allow terrorism


President Klaus Iohannis expressed his condolences to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Istanbul; Erdogan, who shortened his official visit to Bucharest, said democracy excludes terrorism.

‘I am expressing my own and all our condolences for yesterday’s unfortunate event. I can assure you of our full solidarity. Terrorism is a terrible, expanding scourge against which our nations must collaborate,’ Iohannis said after his meeting with Erdogan at the Cotroceni Palace.

The Turkish president related that a prosecutor was taken hostage and cowardly killed in Istanbul; he called the victim a hero.

‘Terrorism (…) is a worldwide matter, and we have to carry on our fight worldwide. (…) The action was perpetrated against our party, against democracy. Democracy is a complex system that cannot allow terrorism. We who believe in democracy must fight against terrorism, and in my capacity of President of Turkey, I will continue this fight till the end. (…) The fight must continue in a firm manner, and our party will take steps as regards the event,’ declared Erdogan.

He underlined that such events generate worries, and they should be known to be prevented. He announced a high-level meeting upon his return to Turkey, as his country wanted to carry out this process.

Erdogan voiced his hope of being able to visit the prosecutor’s family to express his condolences.


Early ending of President Erdogan’s visit to Bucharest


Recep Erdogan has decided to cut his visit to Romania short and return to Turkey earlier than planned, after a new alert state in Istanbul on Wednesday. An armed man walked into one of the buildings of the ruling party, on the lists of the ruling party. The man climbed up to the last floor of the building, broke two windows and displayed a flag that resembled the one of Turkey. The person was eventually apprehended by the Police and taken to the station. Initially, the Turkish media had said there were two armed men. The incident happened just a day after a group of left-wing militants kidnapped and killed a prosecutor in Turkey.

The Presidential Administration announced the early ending of Erdogan’s official visit to Bucharest; the Turkish President cancelled his attendance at the official dinner offered by President Iohannis on Wednesday evening.

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