The Turkish and French Presidents are exchanging letters declaring their readiness to resume talks to restore relations.
The Turkish and French presidents have exchanged letters declaring their readiness to resume talks to restore relations.
Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote a New Year’s message to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, expressing condolences for several attacks in France last year, as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted by local media on Friday.
Macron sent back a “very positive” letter this week beginning with the greeting, “Dear Tayyip,” and saying he was open to a meeting, Cavusoglu said.
“President Macron expresses the importance of Turkey to Europe and his willingness to build positive relations with Turkey and to meet our President in the period ahead,” said Cavusoglu.
Macron’s response suggested cooperation on “bilateral consultations, terrorism, regional issues such as Syria and Libya, and partnership in education,” according to the Turkish official.
The French Presidency confirmed the exchange of letters without giving any details.
“We now need tangible gestures” from Ankara, said the French Presidency.
The European Union is currently preparing an expanded list of Turkish people to sanction Ankara’s decision to drill for natural gas in eastern Mediterranean waters near Cyprus.
Over the past year, Ankara and Paris have argued over a number of international issues, including the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Diplomatic tensions were accompanied by a bitter personal feud between the two men.
At a meeting with EU leaders, Macron remarked that the Turks “deserve something different” than Erdogan’s policies.
In October, Macron said Islam was a religion “in crisis” worldwide, sparking a harsh reaction in the Muslim world calling for a boycott of French products.
Erdogan joined the call and said on two separate occasions that Macron needed a mental health exam.
He also accused Macron of “Islamaphobia” and urged French voters to “get rid of Macron as soon as possible”.