ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News
Relieved by a Constitutional Court ruling against a ban that helped it avert a political crisis, it was natural for the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, to expect a few days of relaxation.
While top leaders headed to holiday resorts, their summer break was cut short as war erupted in the Caucasus and the nuclear tension entered a new phase as Iran is facing new sanctions for not accepting proposals by the European Union regarding its nuclear program.
In order to defuse the tension between Russia and Georgia, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan first went to meet Russia's top leaders on Wednesday. He then went to Tbilisi yesterday to talk with Georgia's leader, Mikheil Saakashvili. Erdoğan tried to convince the leaders of both countries to establish a mechanism to tackle common security, economic and energy security issues in the Caucasus.
Just as Erdoğan was talking to Saakashvili, President Abdullah Gül was greeting Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the steps of the Çırağan Palace, for a working visit that met with reaction from the United States as well as Israel, both of which favor a total isolation of Tehran.
The two-day visit is Ahmadinejad's first visit to Turkey since he came to power in 2005. It is also his first visit to a NATO member. The Iranian president will meet Friday with Erdoğan, who will be back from Tbilisi. Erdoğan will go to Azerbaijan next week to push for his Caucasus plan.