Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, spoke to Hakan Çelik on the CNN Türk Weekend program and made several noteworthy statements. Çavuşoğlu highlighted Turkey’s record-breaking first three months of the year in terms of tourism, with Antalya province being a key contributor. However, he did acknowledge a drop in tourism in May, which he said was likely due to the threat of sanctions on Russia made by opposition leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Çavuşoğlu also emphasized the importance of stable elections for the country, stating that they reflect the will of the people and have always been transparent. He criticized Kılıçdaroğlu’s recent statement about Russia interfering in the elections, stressing that while there may be preferences for certain outcomes, interference is not welcome or appropriate.
Regarding Turkey’s relationship with the EU, Çavuşoğlu stated that while progress towards joining had been slow due to issues such as the anti-terrorism law, Turkey’s foreign policy was not limited to just Europe, and it was important to maintain relations with other regions such as Russia, China, Africa, and Latin America. He also touched on the topic of Syrian refugees, stating that Turkey had cooperated with the UN to create a safe zone and return refugees to their homes in Syria, while also stressing the importance of international cooperation in rebuilding the country.
Lastly, Çavuşoğlu addressed tensions with Greece, stating that while the current atmosphere was positive, unresolved issues such as territorial disputes still existed and must be addressed for a permanent solution. He stressed the importance of open communication and finding ways to work together to solve sensitive issues.