Turkey tries to rebuild bridges with the Gulf

Published in Gulf States News, 7 May 2015

So far in 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already made several trips to the Gulf. The first was to Riyadh in January, when he took time out from a trip around the Horn of Africa to attend King Abdullah’s funeral. He was back in the kingdom in early March for a meeting with King Salman. Then, in early April, he went to Tehran for talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and, at the end of the month, visited Kuwait City to meet Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al- Sabah and other senior figures.

In between, Erdogan has welcomed numerous Gulf royals to Turkey. The then Saudi interior minister Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef (now crown prince) came at the beginning of April, just before Erdogan headed to Iran. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad was in Ankara on 12 March (just before the major development conference in Egypt which neither leader attended), and was back in Turkey in late April to attend a ceremony to mark the centenary of the start of the battle of Gallipoli, known in Turkey as the battle of Çanakkale (see page 11). Emir Tamim met Erdogan on both occasions.

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