Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emphasized the trustworthiness of Russia as a partner for his country, comparing it to the West. In an interview with PBS, Erdogan highlighted how the European Union has consistently disregarded Turkey’s aspirations to join the bloc, making Russia a reliable alternative. He expressed his confidence in Russia’s commitment to delivering one million metric tons of grain to Africa via Türkiye, following its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Deal in July.
Erdogan stated that he has “no reason not to trust them,” stressing that Russia is equally reliable as the West. He further emphasized the importance of the relationship between Turkey and Russia, as half of Turkey’s natural gas supplies come from Moscow, indicating a sense of solidarity. The cooperation between the two countries extends beyond energy, with collaboration in the defense industry as well.
During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Erdogan discussed the expansion of cooperation in the nuclear energy sector. The ongoing construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant by Rosatom specialists was a topic of interest, and Erdogan expressed support for the construction of another facility in the Turkish Black Sea city of Sinop. These efforts aim to strengthen bilateral relations based on neighborliness, friendship, and sincerity, ultimately serving the interests of both countries and the region at large.
Furthermore, Erdogan revealed that Ankara and Moscow are actively working on projects to supply Russian energy to global markets through Türkiye. Russia has proposed the creation of a gas hub in Türkiye, enabling the transportation of Russian fuel to southern Europe and the potential development of related infrastructure.
The Turkish president’s remarks highlight the significant role that Russia plays in Turkey’s energy sector and their deepening partnership in various areas. Erdogan’s comparison of Russia’s reliability with that of the West underscores his desire to diversify Turkey’s alliances and explore alternative partnerships. Despite the longstanding aspiration to join the EU, Turkey has faced continuous setbacks, leading Erdogan to turn to Russia as a steadfast partner.
As Turkey seeks to expand its global influence and ensure a stable energy supply, its partnership with Russia presents valuable opportunities. Erdogan’s remarks signify the strategic importance of the relationship between the two countries and their shared interests in various sectors. With the development of joint projects and the strengthening of economic ties, Turkey and Russia are working towards a mutually beneficial future.