Baku. 19 December. REPORT.AZ/ Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said the Turkish government “does not take seriously” Vladimir Putin’s recent harsh statements, so he will not respond to the Russian president’s “undiplomatic and insulting” remarks in the same manner. Report informs citing Hurriyetdailynews, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoğlu told reporters while returning from this week’s trip to Brussels to attend a summit with eight EU leaders.
“Putin’s statements do not suit the nature of the modern world or Turkish-Russian relations. So instead of answering his statements in the same manner, I just smile. Taking his statements seriously would be an insult,” he added.
During his recent lengthy, annual meeting with the press, Putin stepped up his already heated rhetoric over the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey on November 24.
In his earlier statements, Putin had accused the Turkish government of “Islamizing Turkey” and engaging in oil trade with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.
“It seems that Putin has recalled that Turkey is a Muslim country and we are Islamic leaders,” Davutoğlu said, suggesting that Putin was trying to stir trouble by setting “Islamization” and “Ataturk’s values” in opposition.
Asked about recent intensified dialogue between Turkey and the EU, Davutoğlu described the current state of affairs as a “systematic, result-oriented relationship” that is tied to a specific calendar. He said ties between Ankara and Brussels will be built on three main pillars: Turkey’s EU accession process, the visa liberalization process, and refugee problem. He added that Turkey and eight EU countries, as well as the European Commission, have agreed on a certain calendar to further deepen coordination in dealing with refugee issues.
The summit in Brussels on December 16 will be followed up on February 18, while Turkey will hold high-level bilateral summits with Germany on January 22 and with Greece in mid-February, Davutoğlu stated.
“The refugee issue is the tip of the iceberg. The real threat is growing regional instabilities. If we do not deal with these instabilities now, any measure we take today will be insufficient tomorrow. That is the message I delivered to EU leaders. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be hopeful about the future at the moment,” he added.
During his meetings in Brussels, Davutoğlu accused Russia of trying to force Syrians, mostly opponents of the Bashar al-Assad regime, to flee into Turkey.
“If Russia bombs Raqqa, or bombs DAESH (an Arabic acronym for ISIL), it would not push any refugees to Turkey. But it is currently bombing Azaz and Aleppo, which will spark a new refugee flow into Turkey. Russia’s current bombings are aiming to create more refugees,” he said.
Another issue on the agenda is the presence of the Turkish military at a base near Mosul, publicized earlier this week, which created tension between Turkey and Iraq. Davutoğlu has spoken with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden twice on the issue, but he denied that Biden had urged Turkey to withdraw troops from Iraq.
“I didn’t get such a statement from Biden. I spoke twice with Biden and he never said such a thing. He advised us to carry out this issue through consensus with Iraq. In fact we all want the same thing anyway,” he said.