Hurriyet: Erdogan expressed interest in meeting Al-Assad in SCO summit
As Ankara attempts to mend relations with Damascus, Erdogan expresses his disappointment about the absence of the Syrian president at the SCO summit in a meeting behind closed doors.
In an article written by Abdulkadir Selvi in the pro-Erdogan newspaper, Hurriyet, it was revealed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed that he had interest in meeting his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Al-Assad, had he attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan. However, Al-Assad did not participate in the summit.
Reuters, before the article was published, reported based on four sources that the heads of Turkish and Syrian intelligence - Hakan Fidan and Ali Mamlouk - met in Damascus within the past few weeks, held several meetings, an indication of Russia's efforts to mediate and ameliorate the decade-long tension between the two geographical neighbors.
Selvi stated that Erdogan made these statements about Al-Assad at a meeting between him and his ruling party behind closed doors on Monday. He said, "I wish Al-Assad came to Uzbekistan, I would have spoken to him. But he cannot come there."
Last month, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported that Al-Assad and Erdogan will be meeting in Uzbekistan on the condition that a meeting would take place between a Turkish delegation and the Syrian President.
Last month, Turkish media, as well as political and party officials, had been talking about the necessity of restoring ties between Ankara and Damascus in addition to a rapprochement between Turkey and Syria, stressing that it was one of the ways out of Turkey's internal and external problems. It was argued that this would also bring peace and stability to the region.
Turkey informs 'Syrian opposition coalition' of need to leave
On Tuesday, informed sources told Sputnik that a Turkish intelligence service "informed the members of the so-called 'Syrian Opposition Coalition' of the need to leave the Turkish territories by the end of this year."
The sources added that "this statement, which constitutes a turning point for this [political] entity, whose activities are based in Turkey, came after a political decision that was taken in Turkey recently against the background of the Syrian-Turkish rapprochement under the auspices of Russia."
Sputnik revealed that "President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government decided to close all offices of the opposition coalition in Turkey and to stop funding its members in accordance to a specific timetable that ends by the end of this year at the latest."
The sources added, "A number of members of the Syrian Opposition Coalition were informed by the Turkish security services that they need to find another place to carry out their political activity outside the Turkish territories and to end all political and media activities related to this coalition by the end of this year at the latest."
Over the past years, Ankara has been securing special offices for the so-called "Syrian Opposition Coalition" on its territory, in addition to providing its members with monthly salaries in addition to a package of other privileges.