Erdogan: Relationship with Damascus to be reconsidered after elections
The Turkish President says the Russian and US delegations in Ankara agreed to refrain from using nuclear weapons.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted on Thursday at the possibility of reconsidering relations with Damascus after the 2023 elections in Turkey.
In response to a question, prior to his return from Indonesia, about the nature of relations with Egypt and Syria, Erdogan said it is possible to reconsider relations with Syria and Egypt after the elections that Turkey will witness in June 2023.
Regarding a possible meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad under Russian mediation, the Turkish President said this matter can be evaluated when the time is right, pointing out that there was no eternal resentment or quarreling in politics.
In mid-October, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Russia has offered to mediate a meeting between Erdogan and Al-Assad, but the Turkish leader "is not very warm" to this idea yet.
In an article written by Abdulkadir Selvi in the pro-Erdogan newspaper, Hurriyet, it was revealed that the Turkish President expressed that he had an interest in meeting with his Syrian counterpart had he attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan.
It is noteworthy that this is not the first time that Turkey has hinted at the possibility of restoring relations with Syria, as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had said it is possible for Turkey to consider raising the level of relations with Syria from the intelligence level to the diplomatic one.
Russia, US agreed in Ankara to refrain from using nuclear weapons
In a separate context, Erdogan said after the contacts of the Russian and US delegations in Ankara, he received information from the head of his intelligence that the parties agreed to refrain from using nuclear weapons.
Russian Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergei Naryshkin met with CIA director William Burns in Ankara on Monday. Media reported that the talks were dedicated to the discussion of the detained US citizens and nuclear risks. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed the talks but did not comment on their content.
"The information I received from my intelligence chief about whether Russia and the United States will use nuclear weapons here is that at the moment both sides will not make any attempts to use nuclear weapons," Erdogan told reporters.
The Turkish leader expressed hope that meetings between the heads of the Russian and US intelligence services in Turkey will continue.
"Of course, we want to keep the situation under control, make sure that they meet often. God forbid, this [possible use of nuclear weapons] will lead to a new world war. Let's not provide such an opportunity," he indicated.
Erdogan discussing with Putin establishing NPP in Turkey
Erdogan said on Thursday he is discussing with Russian President Vladimir Putin the construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP) similar to the Akkuyu NPP in Sinop, located in the north of Turkey.
"I can say that we are in a good position from the point of view of energy. We don't need anyone. Especially after the construction of the Akkuyu NPP will be completed in 2-3 years, we will have a very serious potential there. Then I'm also discussing with Mr. Putin the issue of Sinop," Erdogan said.
"We hope to build four turbines there, and we will get as many, and maybe even more than in Akkuyu. Once we get them, Turkey will no longer have problems with energy. We'll be in a much better position. And we can easily start exporting energy," he told reporters.
It is noteworthy that Turkey and Russia have been working on the construction of the Akkuyu NPP in the Turkish southern province of Mersin.
Earlier in November, Erdogan said Ankara and Moscow were also discussing the construction of two more NPPs in Turkey. One of them will be built in the city of Sinop. Meanwhile, various options are being considered for the construction of the third NPP, which could be constructed in the region of Thrace located in the European part of the country.