World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a surprise move, met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines the 12th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
The meeting was closed to the press and no statement has yet been made regarding its content. According to reports, the two top officials met to discuss the situation in Syria.
Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Numan Kurtulmuş, deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), were also present at the meeting, which lasted 40 minutes.
The political crisis in Syria has led to some tension between Turkey and Iran. Turkey has strongly criticized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over a deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests while Iran has defended the Syrian regime and says foreign powers should stay out of Syria's internal affairs.
However, reports said during the meeting Ahmedinejad voiced support for Turkey over early October's Akçakale incident, saying Turkey has the right to protect its territorial integrity.
In the latest blow to the already strained ties between the two neighbors, Syria fired mortar shells into a residential district of the southeastern Turkish town of Akçakale two weeks ago, killing two women and three children from the same family and wounding at least eight people. In response, Turkey attacked targets inside Syria.
Also high on the agenda of the meeting were Iran's nuclear program and the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) -- the Iranian wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging a separatist campaign against Turkey for the past three decades – according to the reports.
Operations launched as part of investigations conducted by Chief Public Prosecutor’s Offices across country
Center in capital’s Altindag district to provide healthcare services to mainly Syrian refugees in Turkey
Reinforcement commando units arrive at Syrian border near southern Hatay’s Reyhanli district, says military source
Air force launches strikes close to border late Tuesday, military says
Fifth Avenue premises will be 'important bridge' to US market for Turkey, says economy minister
BIST 100 index rises 0.36 pct while US dollar/Turkish lira rate falls 3.48
Kurdish Regional Government 'ignoring' Ankara, Erdogan says, warning sanctions would not be 'ordinary'
Do not let FETO terrorist group poison African countries' ties with Turkey, says Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz
2 leaders discuss controversial planned referendum by Kurdish Regional Government a week from now
Turkish CHP’s deputy chairman says government should give deadline to Kurdish Regional Government to cancel referendum
Current reform agenda pushed by Washington 'not what we understand from the word 'reform'', Turkish president says
Soldier also martyred during anti-PKK operation in southeastern Mardin province
BIST 100 index rises 0.26 pct while US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands over 3.44
Number of new businesses increases by almost 50 percent compared to same month last year, according to latest figures
Ceremonies held at assemblies in 70,000 schools on 1st day of term
80 tracked military vehicles, including tanks sent to border near southern Hatay’s Iskenderun district: military source