Turkish FM meets Russians in Antalya, predicts Turkish-Russian tension will be overcome

Russia announced a number of economic sanctions against the Turkish government. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a “stab in the back,” and vowed to respond accordingly, after the jet downing. Since then there have been reports of poor treatment of Turkish citizens visiting or doing business with Russia. Russia has called on its citizens not to visit Turkey, whose Antalya province attracts a large number of Russian tourists every year.

Cavusoglu, whose hometown is Antalya, met with Russian citizens on Saturday at a breakfast meeting in nearby Alanya and told them that Russia is Turkey’s friend and a trade partner, adding that he had a very productive meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Belgrade last week during which discussed the Russian jet incident.

“We will overcome this tension in a short time. I believe we will be able to further our relationship as well. Lavrov and I discussed the incident in Belgrade in a positive atmosphere. We need to continue to talk openly to reduce the differences. Most importantly we shouldn’t tell lies. When you look at Russia, there is a rhetoric which has nothing to do with the truth, along with deceptive news reports,” Cavusoglu said.

He criticized the poor treatment that Turkish citizens have been exposed to by Russia since the jet incident.

Alanya Russian Language Speakers Cooperation and Solidarity Association (ARDİD) President Anjelika Anzhela said in the meeting that Russia and Turkey are friends and that no one will be able to damage their friendship.