President Erdoğan said that they will create a structure that will operate on energy in a block within the Istanbul Financial Center project. Erdogan stated that they will discuss this issue with Russia.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi yesterday. Answering journalists’ questions on the plane after a three-hour meeting, Erdoğan shared the details of his meeting with Putin.
Erdogan’s statements are as follows:
NATURAL GAS CENTER TO BE ESTABLISHED IN TURKEY
(Russian gas) In our meeting with Mr. Putin, we discuss the energy sector under separate headings. We will implement different projects to deliver energy products to Europe and the world through our country. With the natural gas center to be established in Turkey, progress will be made in both energy transmission and pricing. We said that we will make our country an energy base, and we provide the necessary infrastructure and physical facilities for this. With our investments in recent years, we will turn our country into an important natural gas base for the region’s geography. We are approaching step by step towards our goal of making Turkey the center of the region and then of the global energy. With the successes we have achieved in energy diplomacy, we have proven that a step cannot be taken in the Eastern Mediterranean without Turkey. Now we are making our country an energy base with agreements in the field of natural gas. We are determined to continue the Turkey-Russia energy relationship, which we conduct on a win-win basis, for the benefit of our countries.
As Türkiye, we offer a different plan regarding this issue. Like our Financial Center in Istanbul, we have a plan to establish a center for natural gas, as in the case of centers established for certain jobs in London and Hamburg. We will discuss this plan with Russia. We want to make our country such a center beyond the lines in Thrace. We are planning this center not only for natural gas but also for energy and mining. We want to create a center with wide-ranging goals. We want whoever wants to do whatever they want to come to this center on issues such as energy, natural gas and mining. We can establish this center in a block of our Financial Center in Ataşehir. We can organize this business in the center of finance, money.
‘TRIBAL STRUGGLE NATIONAL AND LOCAL’
(The clash between Arab tribes and PKK/YPG terrorists in Deir ez-Zor, Syria)
Frankly, Mr. Putin did not bring up the issue. I made a short summary and we see that in these developments in Syria, Arab tribes have become a whole against the PKK and YPG, and even now, with the increase in participation, the Arab tribes are getting stronger. Mr. Putin also said that as the owners of the region, it is important for Arab tribes to come together and fight against the terrorist organization. What is happening now is the move, the step, of the Arab tribes to claim their lands in unity and solidarity. That’s why I think it’s important. Arab tribes are the real owners of those places. The real owners of those places are not these terrorist organizations. Neither the PKK nor the YPG own these places, they are just terrorists. The attitude of the tribes against the PKK and YPG by coming together is a struggle of honor. It is both national and local. There is no macre or terrorist activity that this terrorist organization would not do to control the oil in Deir ez-Zor. We have made the necessary warnings to the addressee countries in this regard, and we do. It was seen that the ammunition and weapons aid provided by the USA to this terrorist organization did not serve the peace of the region. Every weapon given to the terrorist organization serves to continue the bloodshed in the region and to disrupt the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria.
‘ESED WATCHES FROM THE TRIBUNE’
(Relations with Syria) Unfortunately, ad watches the steps taken in Turkey-Russia-Iran-Syria format regarding our normalization from afar, from the stands. So it’s not involved in any way. We, on the other hand, opened our doors to these studies, hoping that Syria would be involved in this work, and said, “We are ready for it”. However, there is still no positive attitude on the Syrian side. We hope that they will take their place at the table in the continuation of the process. The fight against terrorism, the political process, the safe, voluntary and dignified return of asylum seekers are discussed in detail at the four foreign ministers meeting. If progress is made in these topics, it is possible to normalize relations with the Syrian regime. We said that the Quadrilateral Process with the Syrian regime should be without preconditions from the beginning.
WHAT DOES RUSSIA WANT?
(Grain Corridor) Russia has two special requests. One is to connect the Russian agricultural bank to the SWIFT system of Ziraat Bank. Currently, Russian banks are out of the SWIFT system due to sanctions. As you know, this country exports 120-130 million tons of grain per year. Mr. Putin said at the press conference, they have been selling for 62 years. Two things need to happen for the continuation of the sale. Firstly, it has to receive the money as a result of the sale, and secondly, the ships used for transportation need to be insured. Ships must be insured in order to transport goods to European or other ports. Due to the sanctions, the British-based insurance company does not insure the ships. There is no money transfer due to the removal of Russian banks from the SWIFT system, and the Russians stipulate that both of them are possible. Now, the United Nations has brought the process to a point with the continuous contribution of Turkey, with a position that started a little behind. In the letter he sent on 28 August, UN Secretary General Gutteres proposed an intermediary mechanism that would result from the SWIFT transaction, not directly as the Russians wanted. They said they were also working on the insurance issue.
‘SEEDINGS AND THICK FOLLOW’
(Tension in Kirkuk) Both my Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and our intelligence units are following the issue closely. As a result of the close follow-up of the work, both the meetings with the Iraqi Prime Minister Mr. Sudani and the meetings with his interlocutors there, there is a relatively calm atmosphere in Kirkuk at the moment. I also told my Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hakan Fidan, and the Head of MIT, İbrahim Kalın, that they should follow the situation closely. As a result of the statements made by my Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hakan Fidan, yesterday in Iran, the weather seems calm as of today. We are following the issue. For the peace and tranquility of the region, activities that will disrupt the structure of Kirkuk should be avoided. Any action that will disrupt the structure of Kirkuk means the deterioration of the integrity of Iraq. Turkmen homeland Kirkuk has been a geography where different cultures live together in peace for hundreds of years. We will not allow the peace and integrity of this geography to be disturbed.