Grain deal will prioritize African countries in need, says Turkish president

Recep Tayyip Erdogan highlights importance of grain deal for African countries.

Grain deal will prioritize African countries in need, says Turkish president

The Türkiye-brokered Black Sea grain export deal will prioritize African countries in need, as agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

“The situation in Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan is not good at all. If there is a problem in any other less developed countries, we will carry out shipments to these countries,” Erdogan said during a live interview jointly broadcast by ATV, A Haber, A News and A Para.

Both Russia and Ukraine’s leaders approached Türkiye "positively" on the grain export issue, he said, adding: "We answered them positively."

On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume exports of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February.

On Saturday, Russia announced that it would suspend its participation in the deal for what it alleged was a Ukrainian attack on its Black Sea fleet at the port of Sevastopol.

Earlier on Wednesday, Türkiye and Russia announced Moscow's return to the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative following Ankara and the UN's mediation.

3rd nuclear power plant

Erdogan also said that Ankara and Moscow are working on the construction of a third nuclear power plant, without mentioning its location.

An intergovernmental agreement was signed between Türkiye and Russia in May 2010 for the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, which will have four VVER-1200 type power reactors with a total installed capacity of 4,800 megawatts.

Last month, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom started negotiations with Türkiye for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Turkish city of Sinop on the Black Sea coast. The Sinop nuclear power plant will be the country's second nuclear project following the country’s first nuclear plant, the under-construction Akkuyu project.

The Turkish president also said that Libya is interested in carrying out joint seismic work with Türkiye in the Mediterranean Sea.

“With our drilling ships, we have a chance to drill in different countries as we are doing in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, extracting natural gas and selling it to third countries,” Erdogan added.

Noting that there are proposals on this from different countries, he said: “In the first place, for example, Libya says that we can engage in such work on this issue.”

With another 110 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the total amount of discovered gas reserves in the Black Sea has reached 650 billion cubic meters, Erdogan said.

Türkiye's first domestically-produced electric car

Erdogan said his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev wants to purchase two Togg, Türkiye's first domestically produced electric car, a C-SUV.

Marking the 99th anniversary of Türkiye’s Republic Day on Oct. 29, the Turkish president attended the opening ceremony of the Togg Gemlik Campus in the northwestern province of Bursa, where the car will be mass produced.

The Togg will hit the roads in the first quarter of 2023, he said, adding when the Togg Gemlik Campus reaches full capacity, 175,000 vehicles will be produced annually and 4,300 people will be directly employed and 20,000 indirectly.

In June 2018, five industrial giants -- the Anadolu Group, BMC, Kok Group, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding -- as well as an umbrella organization, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye, joined hands to create the Togg.

Defense Industry

President Erdogan said that Türkiye's test-firing of its Tayfun (Typhoon) ballistic missile, which “drove Greece crazy,” showed the progress of the country's defense industry.

Production of new missiles like "Cenk" and "Gezgin" will be announced soon, he noted, without providing more details.

Touching on Greece's recent policy toward Türkiye, Erdogan underlined that this is “unacceptable” and "Ankara cannot remain silent."

Greece needs to “come to its senses and understand that provocations will not get them anywhere,” he added.

As long as values are respected, not only Türkiye and Israel but the entire region will benefit with win-win diplomacy, Erdogan said on normalization with Israel

The Turkish president also said he might "conduct diplomacy" with US billionaire Elon Musk over his $8 “blue badge” plan after his purchase of the social media platform Twitter.